Student Government Association: Conference review, starting legislation
Central Michigan University’s Student Government Association (SGA) took place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 23 in the Bovee University Center Auditorium.
The main purpose of the meeting was to recap the information the executive officers gathered while at a conference in Washington D.C. earlier this month. Additionally there was a guest speaker from Special Olympics, committee meetings, House and Senate meetings.
American Student Government Association Conference
The Washington D.C. conference that SGA President Tyler Zimmerman, Vice President Ryan Biller, Treasurer Natalie Brant and other associates attended lasted four days.
Zimmerman said it was a great networking opportunity.
"We had students from California to Cairo, Egypt there," he said. "Lots of diverse voices and lots of student governments for us to network with and learn from."
CMU's SGA was audited at the conference and received a 73 out of 100, Zimmerman said. This number reflects how well SGA is operating at CMU.
Zimmerman discussed some areas SGA will be attempting to improve over the next academic year, such as student surveys, moving up elections from April to February and improving the SGA website.
He also proposed holding a Registered Student Oraginazion (RSO) President Summit as well as a "listening tour," in which he would go to different RSO meetings and listen to their meetings.
"I understand (RSOs) face unique challenges," he said. "These presidents have a lot to bring to the table, and it can only be a positive thing to bring them together."
Additionally, Brant spoke about adding a judicial branch to SGA.
"It would give some neutrality to SGA," she said. "Other schools about our size had a judicial branch, and I'm pretty certain we could fill it."
Special Olympics Guest Speaker
CMU Special Olympics was recognized as the RSO of the week. SGA Representative Aliza Punches said the goal of the organization is to provide those with disabilities the opportunities to play sports during summer and winter seasons.
Applications are currently open for the winter games in Traverse City this academic year. Special Olympics RSO meets every other Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Anspach Hall.
House of Representatives Meeting
The House of Representatives meeting was led by Speaker of the House Josh Boman. Ninety three members were in attendance.
Boman spoke about House Resolution 1. It is the first piece of legislation the House is planning to pass that will "chart the path of the House of Representatives for the 2023-24 Academic Year," according to the document.
The representatives began to draft the House's mission statement, with values such as promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and belonging, as well as promoting student involvement and services.
Boman asked the representatives for issues on campus the House could research and propose legislation for. Students had a variety of suggestions, such as RSO responsibility education, customer service issues, mental health and counseling issues, as well as Merrill dining hall food portion sizes and weekend closures.
Boman encouraged representatives to research these issues and write legislation regarding them so they could be proposed at future meetings.
He also discussed an upcoming piece of legislation on a sustainability fee or "green fee" being proposed that will be emailed to representations in the near future.
"A green fee is a small payment usually once a semester that students pay with their tuition to fund sustainability initiatives for an intuition," the drafted legislation reads. "Many of these student initiatives involve upgrades around campus, such as solar panels and electric vehicle chargers."
Event planning within the Sustainability Committee
The Sustainability Committee met in the Lake Michigan Room to plan their events for this semester. Sustainability Chair Genevieve Thomas led the discussion.
"The goal of the committee is to educate the student body on different ways to be sustainable on and off campus," she said, which is achieved through the events the committee plans.
There were 13 members in attendance, and the members started planning two events for the fall semester: a movie night and a clothing drive. Neither event has determined dates or locations yet.
CMU students have access to discounted Detroit Pistons tickets this season upon signing up for a sports management class.
A pumpkin carving contest is being held this Thursday, Oct. 26, in Wightman 220 at 5:30 p.m. The event is being hosted by the American Cancer Society to raise awareness. Admission is $3. There is a prize for the best carved pumpkin.
SGA members must submit their GPA requirement forms this Friday, Oct. 27.
The SGA meeting on Oct. 30 will be Halloween themed, and members are allowed to wear costumes to the meeting.