Next Student Body President, Vice President inaugurated at final SGA meeting

BY CORIE LYNN

The final Student Government Association meeting of the spring semester is marked by the transition to the next president and vice president.

During Thursday’s meeting, former SGA President Haley Reiter and Vice President Bryson Homman welcomed new President Mark Faber and Vice President Ryan Stanley.

As they did so, Reiter and Homman gave the traditional “Bat and Ball” speech, through which the new officers are reminded of their duties to the student body.

Faber and Stanley were then sworn in and outlined their intentions for the coming academic year.

Faber stated he was excited for what the year would bring and that he and Stanley would focus on open communication. This would include working with the other members of the SGA and University faculty to ensure information from students is relayed to the proper channels.

“We have to have that collaboration,” Faber said.

In addition, Stanley reminded the senators there are many items that students want to happen at the university. He asked the SGA keep him and Faber accountable in putting those wishes into action.

The evening’s meeting began, however, with a visit from FHSU President Dr. Tisa Mason.

She spoke to the group to announce that tuition for the following academic year will not be raised. In addition, student fees will lower slightly.

“We’re going to have a very vibrant campus experience,” she said.

To wrap up their business for the semester, the student senators voted on and passed two bills changing line items for the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

They then brought back a resolution they had tabled the previous week.

This resolution called for the next SGA administration to create an underserved student senate seat in time for the next spring SGA elections. Groups that would be represented through this seat include members of the LGBTQ+ community, students living below the poverty line, and neurodivergent students.

As in the previous week, the student senators held a lengthy discussion on the resolution.

Vice President-elect Stanley was in favor of the seat, but abstained from voting on the bill as he believed the creation of a standing diversity committee in the SGA could better create the seat.

“It just makes it so it’s not a single person [the task] weighs on,” he said.

SGA Administrative Assistant Anthony Ventura voiced his disapproval of the seat, stating he doesn’t think an elected senator would want to be singled out for falling into the category of underserved. He said he knew of students who fell into the underserved category for their ethnicity or economic status who would share his sentiment.

Instead, he told the senators to encourage conversation between those of different opinions and backgrounds and to promote running for the other open senate seats.

Following Ventura, Senator Will Barfield voiced his support for the seat. He informed the senators that students who fall into the “underserved” category would have the option to run for that seat or to run as a representative of their own college.

After discussion, the student senators voted to not pass the resolution.

As the meeting concluded, Reiter announced that Legislative Affairs Director Crystal Rojas was this year’s recipient of the Student Government Outstanding Service Award.

The meeting was then adjourned. The Student Senate will reconvene in fall 2021.

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