Photo and story by Hannah Adams / Contributing Writer
Student Government Association members passed several campus-related resolutions during their weekly meeting Thursday in the Parliamentary Room of the Student Union Building.
After taking a roll call and leading everyone in the “True Blue Pledge,” SGA Vice President and Speaker of the Senate Monica Haun kicked off the meeting by turning the housekeeping announcements over to SGA President Courtney Brandon.
Brandon led with an encouraging acknowledgment of those who will be graduating in the May ceremony. She also announced that “Resolution 17-17-S,” the resolution for phone chargers to be purchased and placed in school buildings, was denied by MTSU due to the James E. Walker Library already containing chargers. According to Brandon, the school believed chargers in the library are sufficient enough. However, “Resolution 1-18-S,” which will add lines in the campus parking garages to distinguish right and left lanes, was approved.
Brandon also reminded the Senate that College Connection, an open forum that will allow MTSU students to voice concerns to SGA senators, will take place on Monday. Brandon said that a sign-up sheet was available for those interested in participating.
Before moving on to the bills and resolutions, Brandon announced Sen. Dalton Slatton as the “Senator of the Week” for “delegating all the extra work he didn’t have to do.”
Current Homecoming Director Alex Lineberry also announced that Samia Mackay would be taking over as the 2018-2019 homecoming director. After the motion passed to confirm Mackay for the position, she swore her oath and gave a small speech.
“Freshman year, I did volunteer (for homecoming committee) because we all know how hard it is to get those senate hours,” Mackay said. “So, that’s when I initially fell in love with homecoming committee. Last year I worked hand-in-hand with Alex, and I really got to see what it’d be like to run as director. I’m super excited to work with you all.”
After SGA members finished with announcements, the meeting moved on to previously proposed resolutions.
The first order of business was “Resolution 5-18-S,” or “A Resolution to Discourage the Requirement of ‘Clickers’ in Classrooms,” which Sen. Kobe Hermann sponsored. This resolution was brought on due to the fact that students have to pay additional fees for clickers, which are used in some classrooms.
In a previous meeting, this resolution had been postponed due to Hermann not having a drafted letter. Since the letter would need to be signed by the members of SGA, it was important to them to see a full draft before they agreed to sign off on it. In the letter, Hermann explained the importance of discouraging clickers in classrooms due to additional fees the students have to pay out of pocket. Hermann not only brought forth a page-long draft of the letter but also added facts about other colleges, such as Ohio State University, which uses the Top Hat application on students’ smartphones instead of clickers.
“This is a compromise that we believe works for everyone,” Hermann wrote in the letter. “Professors can benefit from using this technology that they feel is worth the school’s investment, and students would not feel the burden of a purchase that they had no say in.”
The only concern brought up with the resolution was the consideration of older college students who still have flip-phones. However, this concern was put to rest by another senate member, who stated that the Top Hat application allows users to text the answers without having to use the smartphone application.
After being put to a vote, the resolution passed.
The second order of business was “Tentative SGA Bill 1-18-S,” or “A Bill to Move an Amended SGA Oath,” which was also sponsored by Hermann. The current placement of the oath in the Constitution remains under the executive branch section, even though it applies to all the SGA branches. The Senate bylaws control the actions of the senators, and it is the Senate’s duty to approve appointments of student judicial board members, senators, election commissioners and administrative cabinet members.
The bill was passed after being put to a vote.
The third resolution was “Resolution 7-18-S,” or “A Resolution Adding MTSU Academic Affairs Policy 313,” which was sponsored by Sen. Seth Harrell. This resolution stemmed from Harrell’s “Resolution 3-13-S” from last month. 3-13-S failed to pass due to the fact that it cut out of department heads when a student sought a grade redemption.
This new proposed resolution was cut down to simply having teachers address Academic Affairs Policy 313, which allows for student grade appeals, in their class syllabus so that students are more aware that this policy exists.
With only one suggestion being made on the title, changing it to “A Resolution Adding MTSU Academic Affairs Policy 313 to Every Course Syllabus,” the motion passed.
The fourth resolution was “Resolution 8-18-S,” or “A Resolution to Require Student Input Prior to Changing On-Campus Dining Venues,” which was also sponsored by Hermann. The resolution promises would include that the SGA be informed of any upcoming dining changes so they can form a student survey. The survey would be open for a week. Although the SGA will take the student body’s input into consideration, the initial decision is left to legislation and Aramark, a company that offers food services. The importance is that the students get a say in what they are provided with before any official changes are made.
The motion then passed when put to a vote.
The final resolution was “Resolution 9-18-S,” or “A Resolution to Raise Awareness About Policies and Procedures Regarding the Quiet Zone at the Library,” which was sponsored by Sen. Bae Dedicatoria and Sen. Freya Cartwright. Both Dedicatoria and Cartwright feel that many students are not aware of the quiet room policies and that, unless reported, the library staff does not act upon disruptive behavior. There has been an increased difficulty for students on the third and fourth floor in the “silent room,” which requires no talking and prohibits the use of cellphones, to study amidst the disturbance.
Therefore, this resolution would initially allow for members of SGA to send out a reminder via email or a social media platform about the policies regarding the quiet room at the beginning of every semester.
The resolution was put to a vote with no further inquiries and passed.
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