SGA announces voter turnout and record enrollment at weekly meeting

BY CORIE LYNN

The Student Government Association held its first meeting of the month on Thursday, October 3.

The Student Senate began with President Brad DeMers’ report.

During this time, DeMers stated that he met with the Virtual Student Senate to discuss their needs for the upcoming Student Success Days.

He said that he met with the Faculty Senate’s Student Affairs Committee to discuss the policy of Student Success Days. The current plan has this policy being presented to the Faculty Senate in November.

DeMers also said that he is looking into the bylaws regarding the Public Safety and Awareness fee. While this fee is currently in place, according to DeMers its use has decreased over the past three years.

He concluded by informing the senators that the executive staff would take a safety walk around campus following the close of the meeting. Any senator was welcome to join them as they looked for any accessibility and safety concerns.

With the close of DeMers’ report, Vice President Michael Musgrove informed the Senate on his weekly activities.

According to Musgrove, he held the first Committee Chairs meeting of the year. He also attended the Faculty-Student Affairs Committee meeting with President DeMers.

Musgrove concluded by informing the Senate that the General Education Committee passed a proposal for changes to the structure of general education courses with the hope that the proposal will eventually be presented to the Student Senate.

In his report, Treasurer Graham Applegate made a correction to the Monthly Treasurer’s Report. He also informed the senators that he approved various expenditures throughout the week.

Legislative Affairs Director Katie Wisley announced that she received Fort Hays State’s student voting data which determined that FHSU’s student voter turnout in the most recent midterm was higher than the national average.

During the week, Wisley, who attended the OER Committee meeting this week, attended a presentation from a company that could potentially provide test question banks for Open Educational Resource courses.

With the close of her report, Wisley also stated that she learned about a competition called Voter to Voter which would have student organizations compete for the highest voter numbers.

Community Relations Director Jackie Dougherty told the senators that the first SGA Town Hall will be held October 24 at 5:00 p.m. in the Stouffer Lounge. Students are able to use this time to bring their concerns to members of the Student Senate.

Dougherty also reminded the Senate that parties can be registered through the SGA’s Tiger Link page. Party registration results in noise warning rather than immediate citations and fines.

Administrative Assistant McKenzie Cunningham concluded the executive reports.

During this time, she announced that a new dining option was chosen at the Memorial Union Policy meeting. While they are still working out the logistics, the new dining option is called Bowl Life and was chosen for its healthy options and versatile menu.

The Committee Reports began with the Appropriations Committee. They reported that they held a hearing as well as have a new bill, one bill for first reading and two bills for second reading.

The Legislative & Political Action Committee chair informed the Senate that the committee passed a bill and that the local debates that will be held at FHSU are approaching.

The Senate Affairs Committee, which receives applicants to the SGA, had interviews and decision-making regarding new senators. The committee also two bills, one of which is on its first reading and one on its second.

The Student Relations & Involvement Committee announced the tabling they would be doing in the near future.

The Student Success Committee concluded reports by announcing that Freshman retention rates for this year are at approximately 76%.

They are also looking at new requirements for general education courses because completion of these courses, such as College Algebra and English Composition, are indicators of further student success.

Open Forum saw brief discussion during the evening.

During this time, DeMers announced that FHSU has officially seen its 19th year of record enrollment.

Faculty Advisor Dr. Lynn also took this time to remind students, in light of recent news reports of its ill effects, vaping is prohibited on Fort Hays State grounds.

With the conclusion of Open Forum, one bill was introduced for first reading. The Student Senate then moved into Old Business to discuss and vote on five bills and one resolution.

The bills included funding for two trips, the installation of one senator, the change in an organization’s funding line items and approval of a new budget for the Shooting Sports Club.

The resolution read was to instate the Student Leader of the Month. It, along with the five bills, passed.

Several announcements were given before the Student Senate adjourned. This included Swipe Out hunger on October 19, the production of The Drowsy Chaperone that is being held this weekend, and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s which is taking place on October 5.

The Student Senate will reconvene Thursday, October 10 at 6 p.m., an earlier time due to the FHSU bonfire and pep rally.

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