Student Government Association: young voters, budgeting, appointed senators


Student Government Association Vice President Ryan Biller (right) introduces Central Votes guest speaker Norma Bailey (left) at the CMU SGA meeting on Oct. 30, 2023. 

Central Michigan University’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting took place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the Bovee University Center Auditorium. 

The meeting consisted of two guest speakers, sign ups for both the Counseling Center focus group event and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, committee meetings, House and Senate meetings.

Guest Speakers

SGA Vice President Ryan Biller introduced the two guest speakers. 

The first speaker was Renee Watson, the vice president of Student Affairs. She spoke about how identities are not a costume and asked for students to remember that as they dressed for Halloween this year.

The second speaker was Norma Bailey, who is the co-chair for Central Votes Coalition. Bailey spoke about the coalition, the Central Votes RSO, Central Civics and the goals of these three groups. She said the main goals of these groups were voter education, voter turnout and advocacy.

Bailey discussed how the statistics of CMU's voter percentage has increased since Central Votes started in 2014, with the percentages of turnout nearly doubling in size. She encouraged students to vote in the upcoming electives, either in Mount Pleasant or for their hometown.

"We've made a difference and we want to continue doing that because it's so important that young people vote," she said. "You have that right and you have to hold it. Democracy depends on us."

Focus Group and Committee Sign Ups

Biller talked about the Counseling Center Focus Group event happening Nov. 6 at 5:40 p.m in Foust Hall. The event needed 10 additional SGA members to sign up for it, which was accomplished at the meeting.

He also talked about the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, a new committee in SGA that looks at the constitution and any bylaws that come in and can suggest changes be made to them as need. 

Biller is the chair of the committee and requested two additional senators and two additional representatives join the committee. Senators Madison Coleman and Drea Lowe and House Representatives Aubrey Mackintosh and Brandon Jankowski joined the committee.

Budget Approvals within the Student Budget Allocation Committee 

Biller led the Student Budget Allocation Committee (SBAC) meeting. The committee works on approving budget requests made by RSOs for specific events on or off campus. 

The committee looked at two RSO requests, both of which was approved in some way. 

The first was a request made by Alpha Sigma Alpha who asked for $720 for their travelling expenses. SBAC approved them for $300 to cover their hotel expenses.

The second request was made by the National Society for Black Engineers who asked for $1,184 to cover half of their travel expenses as they had already done a fundraiser for the other half of the cost. 

SBAC approved this amount with stipulations, as they need to confirm the RSO is obtaining two rental cars so the total matches with their requested amount. 

Senate Meeting 

Senate Leader Christian Toney led the senator meeting. The topic of the meeting was approving additional cabinet members.

"These members were appointed for the position, not voted in," Mitchell Basham, the minute-taker for Senate meetings, said. "So they have to be confirmed by the Senate before becoming official."

The following liaisons made their cases and were approved as official Senate members:

  • Shreya Abraham;
  • Jozy Allen;
  • Gabrielle Allers;
  • Maureen Belcher;
  • Lucía Domínguez.