SGA elects 24 new senators and house, senate leaders
Fourteen new senators were sworn in during the first Student Government Association meeting of the year Sept. 19.
Of the 24 available senate seats, four remain open as of Oct. 3.
Electing senators in the fall is a common part of the first general meeting agenda.
SGA President Ian Elliott said in his time with SGA, he has seen years where a full senate was elected in the spring, only for the organization to have to redo elections in the fall.
“Even in years when (we) have 24 going in, you are always going to have a few senators throughout the summer that decide to drop for a number of reasons,” Elliott said.
Some reasons for dropping might include students transferring to other universities, doubts about time availability or scheduling a class during Monday night meetings.
“It is nice to have 24 (senators), but it is not necessary,” Elliott said. “The point of the senate is to have a group of students who are passionate and thorough enough to really dissect legislation as a group, educate themselves and take up a project.”
Senators are elected to represent departments and academic groups on campus. Each of the 14 nominated by the SGA body gave a short speech and answered three questions.
During the Sept. 26 meeting the following Monday, house speaker and senate leader elections were held. Midland senior Anna Owens was elected senate leader and Belding junior Cody Van Buren was made house speaker.
Owens said she plans to emphasize follow-through with senate projects so that more are completed instead of never developing out of the idea stage.
“If senators are passionate enough about their project, they will follow through,” Owens said. “I want to make sure we do not have so much fall-through.”
New and returning members, including those of the house who represent registered student organizations on campus, cast paper ballots to support one of the nominated senators.
House member Julian Rivers, representative of Students Advocating Gender Equality, said he was looking for senators who know the values of campus and the organization.
“I was looking for someone who was going to stand up for values SGA embodies to students,” the West Bloomfield junior said. “Every senator should represent the voice of the people. They should be the filter for our words, ideas, creativity and innovation.”
Madison Heights junior Lindsey Rogers, representative of the Museum Studies Club, had never been to an SGA meeting before.
“Everyone complains about (the meeting), but I was kind of looking forward to it,” she said.
Outside of senate elections, SGA’s yearly budget of $25,805 was approved at the meeting, which means the organization can has adequate funding. This money will be used to fund committee projects, pay for phone calls and other SGA related expenses.
Each senator is required to choose a project to work on for the duration of the semester. This project can be about anything, including bills they would like to bring before SGA to enact a potential change.
Owens said projects are ideally about something senators are passionate about.