The Student Government Association amended its bylaws to allow students who have been academically suspended in the past to join the group.
By a clear two-thirds majority, the SGA decided to remove the stipulation banning students with academic suspensions from the wording of Article 1, Section 2 of the SGA bylaws.
The removed bylaw read: “Members placed on any university probation shall be immediately removed from SGA. If a member placed on probation engages in an appeal process, he or she will remain a member until all appeals are exhausted. If an appeal is successful, the member shall retain his or her position.”
The SGA also amended Article 7, Section 4, point h, to dictate that the SGA will now approve members based on the GPA requirements of their position and not their history of academic and disciplinary probation.
Despite the change in the bylaws, the GPA requirements for the SGA, university students must carry at least a 2.0 GPA at all times, while graduate students are still required to carry a 3.0.
SGA President Justin Gawronski said the stipulation was unnecessary and only served to exclude people from the SGA.
“We’ve all made mistakes; I don’t want to turn away that person who screwed up in his freshman year and worked hard to get back into good standing,” Gawronski said. “We want to make the SGA as accessible and open as possible.”
The change was also made, according to Gawronski, because of the implausibility of enforcing the rule.
“The SGA really has no feasible way of easily determining whether a student has been academically suspended,” Gawrosnki said. “There’s no reason to keep a law that we can’t enforce.”
SGA Vice President Michelle Vanhala said she understood the significance of the SGA keeping a strong focus on academics, but she said representing students across the university was a more important responsibility.
“The GPA requirements will not change, so there’s no reason to keep students out because of this,” Vanhala said.