Photo by Eric Goodwin / Assistant News Editor
The Student Government Association of MTSU kicked off its first senate meeting on Thursday in the Student Union Parliamentary Room. Largely administrative, the meeting’s highlights included the announcement of recreational and community service events, committee chair confirmations and approval of the four-member election commission.
SGA, now in its 80th Congress, helps guide legislative affairs at MTSU as well as hosting social and service-oriented events for students.
Vice President of Marketing Herman Phuntling said “Student Appreciation Week” will take place Oct. 30-Nov. 4. The week “is a way to give back to our community” by giving free gifts to the student body, according to Phuntling.
One of the most comprehensive campus engagements SGA hosts is Homecoming Week, which will take place at the beginning of October. This year’s theme will be “The Fresh Raiders of the Boro.”
Vice President of Campus Relations Timothy Bassett said there are currently 11 people running for Homecoming Queen and nine running for King.
Homecoming Director Alex Lineberry said SGA has been flooded with responsibilities in preparation for Homecoming Week. Bassett voiced similar concerns, claiming “it has been stressful already” with the influx of emails regarding Homecoming.
Philanthropic Coordinator Chloe Brandon discussed community service SGA intends to coordinate, such as the Freshman Day of Service. Last year, students — not all of whom were freshmen — packaged snack bags to give to children in the Rutherford County School system.
This year, Brandon said, SGA will collaborate with Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity. The event will be held on Nov. 14.
SGA also voted to confirm the four members of the election commission appointed by Bassett. Senator Dalton Slatton motioned to confirm the appointees individually, which was passed.
Three of the four appointees, Ashley Davis, Talea Rahman and Mercedes Woody, were present for their confirmations. Jaylen Thomas was not present.
Slatton asked each appointee if they approved of voting stations during elections, all of which signaled support, claiming voting stations increases student involvement.
In addition, all five committee chair appointments were confirmed en masse.
After the meeting, President Courtney Brandon said she is most excited about the potential she sees in the senators to make a difference on campus.
Brandon said she noted “how proactive (the senators) already are” in their initiative to tackle bills and resolutions that will pass through the Senate this semester.
SGA’s biggest goals this semester are to promote awareness of the association on campus and to encourage students to “make the change they want to see on campus,” according to Brandon.
She said one of the biggest challenges SGA faces is making sure the association remains connected with the students it serves.
The True Blue Tent Initiative will serve as a conduit by which students can voice their concerns to SGA, while also meeting members of the association. The Sept. 28 event will feature a board with the heading, “I love MTSU, but…”, encouraging students to write down criticisms they have of the university.
“I definitely want to interact more with the students and have senators actually come out and be with the students, so that’s going to be my priority,” Phuntling said.
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