SGA kills representation amendment, clarifies referendum
The swearing in of a new senator, clarification of a controversial referendum and the voting down of an amendment that would change the rules regarding representation topped the docket at this week’s Student Government Association meeting.
The meeting opened with the swearing in of new senator for the College of Liberal Arts, political science student and conservative columnist for The Vermilion, Rachel Breaux.
President David Neef informed the senate that the SGA-donated tables on Rex Street had been bolted down last week. Neef also congratulated the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team on their entrance to the NCAA Championship Tournament.
Following that, Vice President Robin Roy began her executive report, thanking those who participated in the Campus Cleanup event. According to Roy, so many people showed up to help that they ran out of T-shirts.
Roy continued her report by clarifying the upcoming referendum 1, a referendum to increase the student-assessed fee by $25 in the fall and spring semesters and $12.50 in the summer. Roy stated that she wanted SGA to let students know that the fee increase was brought forth by SGA, not the university. The fee will be dispersed among several things, including the addition of 11 busses and three shuttles to the Office of Transportation’s fleet.
College of the Arts President Hilary Vincent announced that College of the Arts Dean Gordon Brooks, Ph.D., is working to get a work request form to paint McLaurin Hall’s ballet studio. Vincent said that they have been able to clean the hall’s once-decrepit showers.
Amendment No. 3, which would limit the number of SGA retreats from three to two was passed unanimously and without debate.
After that, debate for Amendment No. 4 began. The amendment would change the counting process for SGA representation from taking place during the fall semester to the spring semester. College of General Studies Sen. Brandon Verret, the amendment’s author, said that the amendment was necessary to accurately represent the student body. Countering his point, College of Liberal Arts Sen. Melanie Benit argued that the rule is fine as it is, and allows for a “broader base” of students to be represented.
According to Chief Justice Tyler Quebedeaux, who explained that the constitution states that the number of senators will total 50 regardless of student population, only the ratio of senators per college would change.
In the end, the amendment was overwhelmingly voted down.
The SGA Senate passed three appropriations this week and and tabled appropriations Nos. 83 and 84 for next week.
It granted $492.30 from the College of Arts, $100 from the College of Education and $50 from the College of Liberal Arts to help defray the cost of the American Institute of Graphic Artists to attend the Dallas Society of Visual Communication Conference in Dallas from April 30 through May 4.
The Senate appropriated $350 from the College of Liberal Arts to help defray the cost of Matthew Teutsch to attend the Organization of American Historians in Atlanta April 10-12.
In the final appropriation of the night, $100 from the colleges of nursing, education and general studies, $150 from the College of Liberal Arts and $173.30 was appropriated to help defer the cost of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity to attend the Pike University Dallas Leadership Summit in Dallas Feb. 21-23.