SGA may remove service requirement for election

Written By Sarah Gibson, SGA Beat Writer

President Jake Berlin introduced the possibility of doing away with the requirement that a student must serve on SGA for a semester before running for president on Monday’s Student Government Association meeting. President Berlin suggested that removing the qualification would make SGA much more accessible for students.

“One of our jobs as a student organization, especially a governing body, is to increase student input and enthusiasm, increase voter turnout and increase attendance and representation in the senate and we can continue to further these initiatives by increasing the opportunities that students have when it comes to elections,” Berlin said. Senator Dennis McDermott immediately spoke up in opposition, noting that a single semester of experience was the “bare minimum,” and that it wasn’t hard to get elected to student government as a senator, since a single vote is enough to get one elected.

Senator Jade Steele spoke up in support of McDermott, and Bryce Hayzlett spoke in support of the requirement being removed. In Hayzlett’s opinion, a student’s possible prior experience in a high school student government could easily replace the one semester requirement that currently applies to presidential candidates. After some more back and forth, Dean Gieseke spoke up with a number of points in support of this possible change.

“Ask yourself the first question: what is the purpose of the president and vice president? What is their role? Is it to run a meeting, or is it to be the voice of the students?” Gieseke said.

Alex Grubbs, a representative of the Graduate Student Association, suggested a referendum to ask students what they thought of changing the rule. Jake Berlin closed out the discussion by stating that the proposition still had to go through the rules committee, and it wasn’t something that had to be decided at that meeting.

Appeals to the previously established SGA student organization Spring I budget were also discussed at the meeting. $9,241.66 were allocated to six different clubs.

Senator Jade Steele delivered a report on CulinArt, noting that she would be working with them to address a cross-contamination issue. She informed attendants of the meeting that if they are allergic to shellfish, the cafe sushi was still unsafe for them to eat, even if it says there is no shellfish in it. Senator Steele alleged that this was brought to her attention due to an incident that she personally experienced, and alluded to the fact that it had sent her to the hospital.

“Personally, Culinart almost killed me,” she said.

Senator Hayzlett brought up a problem brought to his attention at one of the town hall meetings involving the supposed “24 hour” Thayer 212 lab not actually being open 24 hours a day. He said after discussing it with Director of IT, Tim Wilson, he was able to fix that problem, and that the computer lab would now be open 24 hours a day except for Sundays at 2 a.m.

A new club was also recognized towards the end of the meeting. Table Tennis Club, led by their president, Robert Hays, explained their plans for their club, future tournaments and a possible inner city table tennis league where the team would play against other schools.