On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the Illinois Tech Student Government Association (SGA) held their weekly Senate meeting. SGA Executive Vice President Derek Rhea led the session. To view the recorded livestream of the meeting on Facebook, go to https://bit.ly/2NuZKvT.
Discussion: residence halls/external guests
Associate Vice Provost and Career Services Head Thy Nguyen asked the Senate for feedback and input for the school to take into account while deciding new policy for allowing external guests into Illinois Tech residence halls. Currently, Illinois Tech non-resident students are allowed inside via invitation of an on-campus student. The school is making this decision primarily for mental health, as the restrictions put on campus life due to social distancing protocols have been active for over a year now. Another reason is so that Illinois Tech can start hosting on-campus visits and tours for prospective students and their families starting this March. The Senate participated in a lengthy discussion and gave a lot of feedback and suggestions for Nguyen.
Art Club proposal (from the table)
Next on the agenda for the night was the discussion and re-approval of the Illinois Tech Art Club. Joining the call was Joseph Trae Horne and Moid Ali to represent it. The purpose of this organization is to provide IIT students with the opportunity for creative self-expression, access to materials, create a casual community atmosphere, allow for the ability to learn skills, explore resources and information, and foster community involvement in the city of Chicago. The Art Club’s approval had been tabled during the previous Senate meeting due to concerns about their sustainability in future years (see SGA Senate Recap 2/17/21 article). Ali and Horne had worked with SGA Senator Ben Barber and Director of Campus Life Rachel Hirsh to prepare an updated constitution, a more detailed budget, and a more diverse list of interested students. The Senate approved the Art Club this time unanimously with 18 votes in favor.
Student org proposal: Lettuce Club
Next was the student organization proposal for the Lettuce Club, presented by Antonio Archilla and SGA Senators Shahaan Mirza and Isaiah Mays.
The Lettuce Club is a social group of students dedicated to all things lettuce-related. The club aims to provide a place of de-stress and relaxation for students. Lettuce Club intends to stand out from the rest of Illinois Tech’s organizations, which are usually more serious and professional, and aims to improve Illinois Tech’s social and recreational community among students. From the Senate, there were many who voiced concern about the organization’s informal approach to its marketing and potential challenges of sustaining the organization throughout the years; however, many also supported the club for its uniqueness and thought towards improving Illinois Tech’s social life among the students. With eight votes in support, five votes against, and four abstains, the Lettuce Club was approved.
SGA Vice President of Events Martina Dimitrova talked about the then-upcoming President-Provost Forum (see President-Provost Forum Recap Spring 2021 article).
Rhea talked about the ongoing SGA executive elections. Nominations close on March 3. The SGA is also starting the process of Senator elections. More info will be available soon. Finally, Rhea talked about a meeting he had with the school administration to advocate for students’ concerns to consider when selecting the next president of Illinois Tech.
Executive President of SGA Alex Kern talked about his attendance of the Uyghur Genocide Awareness event that took place on Friday, February 19, 2021 and shared a few resources and petitions with the Senate (see https://bit.ly/3bJh5cy).
Assistant Director of Employer Relations Celestine McGee talked about the then-upcoming virtual Spring 2021 Career Fair.
Senator Na’im Muhammad announced that the position of RHA Senator has been gaining interest, and asked that all students who live or have lived on campus within the past year to vote for their desired candidate.
Senator Sameer Sheikh talked about the then-upcoming Food Advisory Board meeting on Friday, February 26, 2021 on behalf of SGA Vice President of Student Life Jeannina Villalobos.
This week’s SGA Spotlight went to Erin Nelson from Finance Board for all her hard work and dedication for SGA. Nelson has served on SGA previously as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and is currently an advisor for Finance Board.