SGA discusses commencement ticket legislation at March 11 meeting

Central Michigan University Student Government Association's Senate Leader Caroline Murray explains a proposed legislation change in the Bovee University Center Auditorium March 11.

Central Michigan University Student Government Association tabled two pieces of legislation during the Mar. 11 meeting. The first covered commencement ceremony ticket redistribution, and the second focused on increasing training and benefits for residential desk managers.

“A Resolution in Support of the Revision of Commencement Ceremony Ticket Redistribution,” authored by Senate Leader Caroline Murray, called for a regulated ticket pool system.

“A regulated ticket pool system would allow students who do not wish to use all their allotted tickets to have those tickets redistributed and would discourage those students from selling their extra tickets,” the legislation read.

Currently for commencement, students are offered four tickets for seating in the McGuirk Arena. Additional tickets are not guaranteed in general admission. There is no regulated procedure for redistributing tickets for students in need of more or less than four.

“We don't offer our students a way from our university to say, 'Hey, can I have some more tickets?'" Murray said. "We leave it up to the market of students who sell. If you're lucky, you'll have a friend who will give you an extra ticket. Some people will end up spending upwards to $50 for tickets, because who wouldn't want their mother or grandmother to see them graduate?"

Murray specified that the legislation is not asking for more tickets, but rather a revised system for redistributing unused tickets to avoid having to buy tickets from students for inflated prices.

“It's already $60 for my regalia, which is the required cap and gown to walk across the stage, after putting in tuition dollars," Murray said. "I was an RA for how many years, I was highly involved, I've given so much to this university, I paid so much money, and somebody could profit off of my graduation by selling their tickets to me. That doesn't make sense in my brain."

In writing the legislation, Murray researched the commencement ticket process of universities that resemble CMU in scope and size and other familiar Michigan universities.

“Of our peer institutions we give the least amount of tickets, and there is no option for students to request more,” Murray said. "Most institutions actually don't even require tickets and if they do, they usually have it so you can get additional tickets."

The legislation sparked discussion in the House, as representatives spoke up about their own experiences in getting tickets.

“I just want to speak in support of this because I'm going through the exact same thing," said House representative Mitchell Wekwert. "I have a huge family who all wants to see me graduate. But it's really tough when I have a big family and only four tickets and I have to have to pick and choose who is deserving to come see me graduate. I think this is a good way to open up a solution for that.”

The other piece of legislation, “A Resolution to Increase the Required Training and Scholarship Amounts/Associated Benefits for Residential Desk Managers," was also tabled to be voted on next week. 

The resolution focused on giving desk managers more benefits and training to better assist in emergencies. 

Since desk managers work for eight to 10 or more hours a week and are required to be on-call an average of 126 hours per week in addition to working holidays, the legislation calls for benefits that would "more closely match the effort towards their positions."

“This would be achieved by increasing the scholarship to $2,500 towards room and board costs for desk managers as well as receiving priority registration for upcoming semesters following the implementation of more rigorous and useful training schedules,” the legislation read.

Desk managers currently receive a $1,000 scholarship per semester and are paid $9.85 per hour, but the legislation states that the scholarship adds approximately $.50 to their hourly wage.

“I was a deskie last year, and I worked closely with my desk manager and they work around the clock, sometimes more than RAs,” said House rep Mackenzie Harville in the open discussion. "They do almost as much as RAs. They should get more training and should have their scholarship increase. They do a lot, and they're great people because they do a lot."

“Stamp Out Aggression” campaign update

The “Stamp Out Aggression” campaign tabling went on through the entire month of February. 

While the initial goal of 500 signatures was met, SGA has decided to extend the campaign into March in collaboration with Greek life.

“We're working on 'Greeks Against Aggression,' the details are not clear yet but we will be talking at mock rocks and tabling," Murray said. "We're extending it to give Greek life the opportunity to be more engaged.”