Nov. 16 SGA Senate highlights

After several dramatic weeks within the student government, things were relatively quiet at senate Thursday night.

With many senators absent because of other university obligations, the senators who were there had no conflict or debate in passing proposed legislation. This legislation included a resolution supporting the proposed new mission statement written by David Barber, which was presented to the senate chambers two senate meetings ago. This resolution, though it does not create action, shows student support of the proposed mission statement which places a greater emphasis on academics than the one UTM currently has in place.

Two pieces of legislation were tabled during the meeting because they would create change for the SGA constitution. The first, Senate Bill 1701 eliminates the elections commission and instead has the jobs of the commission served by only the commissioner, similar to the changes made at the end of last year with the elimination of the communications committee and implementation of the communications chair. This bill also created a title of Homecoming King to be voted on during homecoming seasons. For further information on the legislation, you can visit the SGA OrgSync.

Senate Bill 1702 was also tabled, and it is legislation which would allow all freshman council EC members to vote with senate. As of right now, freshman council meets on a different night, they each vote their views, and then during senate meetings their president votes the overall view of the room. Allowing all of the EC to vote would be giving two extra votes to the freshman council.

Both of these tabled pieces of legislation will be up for debate and voting during the next senate meetings.

SGA also accepted the appointment of three new senators-at-large. Robert Rayburn and Paul Gosser will be serving as senators-at-large for Engineering and Natural Sciences. Brock Brauer was also sworn in as a senator-at-large for the college of Business and Global Affairs. Senators-at-large are basically runner ups for the position of senator. If someone from their respective colleges were to resign or otherwise become inactive with SGA, these people would be the next to fill the slot.

During the announcements portion of the meeting a motion was made for a vote of no-confidence for Speaker of the Senate John Hayes. However, due to the absence of Hayes, Jordan Long, SGA President, said he was not comfortable with making that vote and urged the chambers to postpone such a decision. His encouragement was enough and there were no votes for no-confidence in Hayes. A vote of no-confidence would not eliminate Hayes from SGA entirely, but he would no longer hold the position he has now as speaker of the senate. He would then become a senator for his college, if a spot were available. The reasons given for this motion were that Hayes had not been sending agendas within 24 hours advance of the senate meetings. The SGA constitution does not, however, explicitly say that the speaker of the senate must send those agendas in 24 hours advance.

The senate meeting was adjourned at 9:58 p.m.

Every student is a member of SGA and is encouraged to attend senate meetings. The next senate meeting is scheduled for Nov. 30 in the University Center’s Legislative Chamber, Room 111. Questions can be directed to student body president, Jordan Long at sga1@utm.edu.

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