CMU President George Ross steps in for SGA President Anna Owens at meeting


Central Michigan University President George Ross acts on behalf of CMU's Student Government Association President on Feb. 19 in the Bovee University Center Auditorium.

From the time he woke up Feb. 19 to the end of his executive board update, Central Michigan University President George Ross lived the life of Student Government Association President Anna Owens. 

Per tradition, the SGA president and CMU president trade responsibilities on President's Day. Ross has participated in the tradition six out of his eight years as CMU president.

"I appreciate (the students) allowing Anna and I to do this," Ross said. 

Ross delivered the weekly SGA executive board update in the Bovee University Center Auditorium. 

He confirmed an initiative spearheaded by SGA providing priority enrollment to students with veteran status. Ross said it has been approved and will be implemented by CMU. 

Ross attended six meetings during the day and attended Owens' classes, taking notes for her, while Owens acted in nine meetings on behalf of Ross, who said he has been working for about 11 hours.

"I was updated on a number of initiatives," he said of his meetings. 

Ross said he "drew a blank" on the topics discussed, but said meetings lasted into the afternoon.  

Owens acted as CMU's sitting president for the day, having dinner with Mount Pleasant City Manager Nancy Ridley and meeting with some of CMU's influential donors. 

"She's fulfilled my role today," Ross said.

SGA elections

Reflecting the day's change in leadership, Elections Director Jackie Smith addressed protocol for the presidential election process during general board. 

Campaigning for senate, treasurer and the president/vice president ticket begins Feb. 20.

Smith addressed the short notice, saying there will be time for people to campaign even if they hadn't considered doing so before.

The candidacy filing deadline falls on March 14, Smith said.

"(Candidates) have to turn in all of your petitions, your signatures and we will get that reviewed by the Office of Student Activities and Involvement," Smith said.

Two pesidential/vice presidential debates will take place this year - the first on Mar. 19 in the Bovee University Center Auditorium and the other on March 29 at the Charles V. Park Library. The second debate is part of a strategy devised to provide scheduling flexibility for students who may not be able to attend the first option. Both will begin at 8 p.m.

Possible fall break

Senator and Academic Affairs Committee Chair Morgan Clark discussed the possibility of a fall break with Claudia Douglass, vice provost for Academic Effectiveness, and said they are discussing possibilities for an implementation. 

Senate Leader Caroline Murray suggested a social media campaign, "#whyineedfallbreak" to help students voice their opinions on the topic and to collect feedback. 

The current options in discussion are beginning the fall semester a week early or ending the fall semester a week later in order to provide a week-long break, or keeping the semester as-is and providing a two-day break attached to a weekend.