SGA pushes for Student Senate representation
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 16:09
The Student Government Association has created a new organization to be known as Student Senate to broaden participation in student governance, President Jacob Wong announced Tuesday at College Council.
The Student Senate will be made up of students appointed by department chairs.
Departments representing multiple programs can appoint students from each program, he said in response to a question.
The initial meeting for the appointed Student Senate members to meet with SGA will be at noon Monday in the craft room on the second floor of Loftin Student Center.
SGA will serve refreshments at 11:30 a.m. to mingle and get to know the senators.
SGA members and officers are elected by students and operate under a constitution and bylaws.
The Student Senate will operate under the supervision of an SGA commissioner, Wong explained in an interview. The group will work with SGA to modify the SGA’s constitution to formalize the structure of the new organization.
Members of the Student Senate will vote on major issues, he said.
Wong said public relations Director Vanessa Torres suggested the idea as another way SGA could “speak for the student body.”
Wong said if chairs do not want to have a representative, then they do not have to appoint one. He thinks, however, that chairs will want to appoint representatives because they like to see students active in the college.
“It’s in this way that I want to open SGA to, I guess, a greater presence of students,” Wong said.
He told College Council that most SGA meetings draw only the eight SGA officers, and members of the Student Senate can contribute information on what their departments are doing.
“There’s a lot of different things that could be happening, that I’m not aware of,” Wong said. “It’s another avenue of communication for us.”
Wong said the Student Senate will be able to vote on issues that involve a large number of students and serve on committees.
Members can suggest initiatives for SGA to pursue and could be instrumental in bringing problems to the attention of the college administration.
“The more they see the students active in their education or their safety or what’s happening on campus, they more likely they are to quickly respond to an issue,” Wong said.
He said usually the administration does not act on an issue from SGA members because they represent a small population, but more students concerned with the same issue would add weight to their argument.
SGA sponsors Pizza with the President, a forum to allow students to question the administration, and Pepsi with the President, a monthly meeting with the president, and Sweet Treats, an effort to learn student concerns.
If department chairs have questions, they can call the SGA at 210-486-0133 or email Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org.