On Tuesday, November 27, The Student Government Association (SGA) met in Hospitality 202 to discuss new events, clubs and conferences that are going to be taking place in the near future. This was also the first meeting for any new senators that joined the association.
The meeting started as usual with approval of minutes and roll call where the new senators were acknowledged. The new senators were sworn in and took part in an oath to the association so they could officially became senators and take part in voting later on in the meeting.
Before budget and finance took center stage, Shannon Brown, director or residence life, presented as a guest speaker. She came in to talk to the senators about what exactly Residence Life is and how they operate here at SNHU.
Brown explained how they oversee all of the housing on campus and even assist with off campus housing if a student needs it. Their main goal is to create a sense of safety and security for anyone living here on campus; they wish to make everyone as comfortable as possible and maintain a welcoming community that includes everyone.
Throughout the meeting, the senators asked an abundance of questions regarding many different topics, from new renovations to the process of becoming an RA. Brown answered these questions quickly and efficiently. She spoke about RA applications specifically as the application is now open for anyone interested in taking on this great leadership opportunity. She proceeded to speak about the process for off campus housing, other plans for renovations and even how pricing for residence halls works.
Once questions wrapped up and people had a better understanding of Residence Life, the meeting quickly shifted to budget and finance. There were two conference requests this meeting, one being from Kappa Chi and the other from Kappa Delta Phi.
The two chapters wished to bring all of their members to a national convention from April 5 to April 7 located in Cromwell, Connecticut. Kappa Chi wished to bring all 47 attendees, and Kappa Delta Phi wished to bring all 39 of its attendees. The chapters explained how they needed all members to attend the meeting, but this was later found out not to be true.
This inaccurate presentation of information drummed up a lot of confusion and conversation among the senators as there was disagreement on a multitude of different factors. No conversation was really started until Senator Sultan Akhter (’19) brought up some concerns he had about the constitution and the limitations it puts on senators’ viewpoints and discussions.
Senator Akhter expressed his feelings about how discussion isn’t brought up nearly enough during these meetings, stating that the constitution should allow senators to more freely express their own beliefs whilst making these important decisions. In a brief follow-up interview with the Director of Student Involvement Gavin Telfer, he said “I always think an organization like Student Government Association should be looking at their policies, looking at what works and what doesn’t.”
Because of the presentation, multiple senators didn’t know exactly what they were voting for. The first proposal was Kappa Chi, which was questioned and called a “glorified award ceremony” by Senator Akhter. The debate went on, and in the end, the conference was denied with three in favor, eight opposed and seven abstentions.
Kappa Delta Phi presented the same conference, but was met with different results due to the confusion that was carried over from the first presentation. Senator Rosa Valente (’21) eventually moved to table the request, which overruled the original motion to approve it. It seemed that senators weren’t completely clear on how tabling worked until one of the senators looked it up on his cell phone. Upon finding out that there may have been some misinformation within both presentations, Kappa Delta Phi’s request was tabled with thirteen in favor, zero opposed and three abstentions.
After the amazing amount of confusion with the conferences, the meeting moved into co-sponsorships. The first was DECA, who wished to set up an etiquette dinner to teach correct table etiquette and train well-mannered professionals. They had requested $500, but the co-sponsorship was cut off because someone was informed mid-meeting that there were some difficulties which cancelled the event.
Another co-sponsorship was brought forth by a retail sales promotion class. They wished to get $350 for gift cards and such, which they intended to sell at their pop-up shops. They wished to use these pop-up shops as a way to give back to the community and provide holiday needs. They are a non-profit and want to assist families in need while also giving students a taste of promoting materials they are selling. This vote was the easiest of the night, with everyone unanimously voting in favor of the co-sponsorship.
The final presentation of the night pertained to a new club that wished to begin operation. The club in question was the SNHU STEAM Team. The club wishes to better prepare future educators for STEM-based education, and even provide opportunities with actual educators in the field. The club was also voted for unanimously with every senator voting in favor of it.
The meeting then came to a stop as senators quickly rose from their seats and grabbed their jackets. Everyone’s brains seemed fried after the mass confusion of the meeting, which mainly revolved around the two conferences and the discussion of policies and the constitution. It was surely an interesting meeting for the new senators to partake in, especially since this amount of discussion does not usually take place. There is a possible change for SGA in the future if they decide to take some of Senator Akhter’s recommendations and clear up some of the confusion so these meetings can run as smoothly as possible.