SGA talks Dead Week and elections at first meeting

STORY BY CORIE LYNN

With students returning to campus and classes beginning, the Student Government Association convened for their first meeting of the semester on August 29.

There are a number of new student senators this semester, as well as a new executive board lead by President Brad DeMers and Vice President Michael Musgrove.

DeMers began the executive reports by welcoming the senators back and giving a report of what he worked on during the summer. This included a Dead Week policy that he will present to the Faculty Senate in two weeks.

According to the DeMers, FHSU is unique in that it does not already have a policy in place that states whether or not the university recognizes Dead Week. Whether the policy crafted this summer passes or fails, the goal is to have a policy in place that clarifies Fort Hays State’s stance on Dead Week.

President DeMers also discussed the reforms being made to the funding tools on Tiger Link. Currently, the SGA is considering adding a tab called “Budget,” which would attempt to simply the allocations process for student organizations.

Finally, he reminded senators that Intent-to-Run forms are now available for virtual, Freshman, and KAMS students.

Vice President Musgrove followed DeMers. He updated the SGA on meetings with the General Education Committee, as well as with DeMers and Treasurer Graham Applegate. The latter meeting was regarding what will and will not be funded by the SGA this year.

Treasurer Applegate reported that he spent the week learning more about his position. He also approved various organizational transactions.

Legislative Affairs Director Wisely stated that free legal counseling has begun. She also announced that FHSU will host two local debates: one for the school district elections and one for the City Commision.

Wisely then discussed the possibility of holding a voter registration booth this year at Oktoberfest. She said that the hope is to increase civic in the community.

Community Relations Director Jackie Dougherty announced that the SGA website has been taken down. The new online source for the Student Senate will be on Tiger Link.

Besides this, the first SGA Town Hall will be held on October 24 in Cody Commons in the Memorial Union. During this time, students will be able to meet their senators, and bring up their questions and concerns.

Each of the senate committees met this week. They elected their chairs and vice-chairs during this time, as well as discussed tactics for the coming semester.

The Commencement Committee, on the other hand, gave an update on December Commencement. This includes a Pancakes with the President, in which graduates and their families can have pancakes with University President, Dr. Tisa Mason. 

The committee also decided that Commencement will not be rescheduled in the case of snow. If it has to be canceled, December graduates will instead be able to attend graduation in the Spring.

Following the committee reports, was Open Forum. This time was devoted to discussing funding for the aforementioned Budget tab.

According to DeMers, this function on Tiger Link would cost the SGA $3,000 to purchase, then $1,000 to $2,000 each following year. Partial funding has been offered to the Student Senate, but the organization also has roll-over funding from last year. If the SGA votes to use Budget, they will also consider changing the bylaws so that they must use it for a certain number of years.

After this, three new bills were read and voted on. The first official installed the executive staff. The second changed the date of the SGA elections for Freshman, KAMS, and Virtual Student Senate.

In the past, these elections have been held in October. This was determined to be too late in the year because new students were likely to have already found other organizations to become involved in. The Virtual Student Senate also only meets once a month. This leaves senators attending only two meetings before the end of the semester.

The last bill passed that evening was to increase the number of senators to twenty-five. This was to give each college and the Virtual Student Senate more representatives.

Before the meeting concluded, SGA gave their announcements for activities outside of the SGA. This included Mac ‘n Cheese with AGD. For this event, the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority sells macaroni and cheese; proceeds go to their philanthropy, which is to fight hunger.

The evening then concluded. The Student Government Association will reconvene at seven o’clock, September 6.

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