SGA Round-up: Student Government Answers Transparency Issues
The Student Government Association meeting opened last Thursday with several of the homecoming court candidates urging SGA members to vote for them.
President James Dutton later addressed the issue of transparency within the SGA by saying that “everything that has happened with The Signal has been positive.”
Dutton said that he was “totally glad to be thrown under the bus” if it improved student awareness of the SGA.
In response to The Signal’s currently pending Open Records Requests regarding an itemized break down of theSGA’s budget, Dutton believes that the SGA has been fair in its response. “We’ve answered 100% of their questions and shown everything we’ve been asked for,” Dutton said. “They continue to ask for more, but I’m not going to give them my shirt.”
Code of Conduct Passed
The Student Life Development Committee and Administrative Council approved changes to the student Code of Conduct to reflect new federal guidelines regarding sexual misconduct policies, according to the Student Life Vice President, Ben Williams. The full Senate will address the changes later this month.
Finalized Five Star Program
Vice President of Student Life Ben Williams told the Senate that the SGA was in the final stages of selecting its official policy towards the “Five Star policy” and that they would be willing to fight the policy with the school administration if necessary.
“There are sometimes where I think it’s important for us to pick battles, and I think this is one of those times,” Williams said. “I assume that the administration will be receptive to it. However, if they are not, we can go in and do whatever we have to, to make sure our friends are taken care of.”
The Five Star policy would set academic and community service standards on the Greek fraternities and sororities.
Enrollment would be mandatory unless chapters are willing to face potential consequences, including social restrictions, intermural restrictions and a loss of campus recognition, according to Georgia State’s Greek Life website.
Rick Ross letter
Vice President Williams also brought to the attention of the Senate an email addressed to the school administration and various Executive Board members criticizing the choice of rapper Rick Ross for the 2012 homecoming concert.
“There were some concerns about the type of artists that have been brought in the last few semesters, the use of fee money to do so, and what the Executive Board will be doing is… drafting a letter on behalf of us all,” Williams said. “They [should] know how we feel that if students aren’t happy with the concert artists, they really should be listening to them. Because we’re all funded by student fee money, so that’s the most important thing.”
24/7 on campus study hours
“After considering it, we’re no longer looking at residence halls, but we’re re-considering Aderhold Learning Center,” said Grace Lee, the Vice President of Student Services.
She said that her committee was considering various ways to shift funding to Student Services to allow 24 hour police security and, potentially, 24 hour bus shuttling. Members of the Student Services Committee are currently working towards putting a proposal together for the senate meeting next week.
Emphasis on student feedback
The Executive Vice President, Elise Laplante, emphasized the importance of promoting student feedback forms to the other SGA members. “You guys really need to look and figure out how to engage students,” Laplante said. “Something you should constantly be doing is engaging the thousands of people you represent because if you’re not doing that, then you’re not doing your job.”
She said that if the Senators were to make better use of feedback forms, the SGA would have better credibility to address the concerns with the school administration.
“Having physical evidence of an issue a student has gives us credibility, and it gives us accountability to be able to fall back on that,” Laplante said. Because it’s somebody putting their name to it, it’s somebody so irritated that they’re taking the time to write it down.”