North Texas Daily

Five SGA senators ousted by absences, leaving 18 seats out of 45 unfilled

Five SGA senators ousted by absences, leaving 18 seats out of 45 unfilled

Five SGA senators ousted by absences, leaving 18 seats out of 45 unfilled
October 02
23:19 2019

SGA recruitment efforts will face a new challenge after five senators left their positions due to absences, Vice President Hillary Shah announced at Wednesday’s meeting.

Four senators expressed inability to keep their positions prior to Wednesday’s meeting, but Shah counted another lost seat when a senator did not appear for roll call.

A revised version of the senate’s code of conduct includes provisions for excused absences which could curb losses in representation if passed. Shah explained details about the provisions and repeatedly addressed senators about attendance problems during the meeting.

“I know a lot of times attendance has not been enforced,” Shah said. “But let me tell you right now, I will be enforcing it because that is something you should be doing … If you miss more than three senate meetings and are unexcused … you will, unfortunately, have a conversation with me and most likely vacate your seat.”

The senate needs 18 more representatives to fill all 45 seats. The organization laid groundwork to fill vacancies in their first meeting with the approval of appointment forms for prospective senators.

SGA Communications Director Noah Hutchison said four appointment applications are currently under review and may appear before the senate by next meeting. His office will coordinate a social media campaign for outreach, Hutchison said, and approach faculty to expand SGA’s role in colleges.

Students can apply for senate appointment if they maintain GPA and attendance requirements outlined in the SGA constitution and collect 25 signatures from students in their college.

Other areas of SGA are gaining ground. The SGA Senate approved two judicial nominations at their Wednesday meeting to fill all vacancies in the SGA Supreme Court, which oversees constitutional concerns within the organization.

Last week SGA senators approved four other supreme court nominations, appointed an advocate general and added members to their election board, though lacking attendance at that meeting nearly created a lack of quorum, Shah said then.

Despite the nominations, legislation has been hard to come by for this SGA session. Last week, a resolution aiming to reform UNT’s treatment of first-time drug offenses stopped short of passing after concerns from senators led resolution co-sponsor and CLASS Senator Devon Skinner to table discussions and craft new legislation.

The vice president of SGA is now trying to aim the senate’s focus on new initiatives before the end of the semester.

“It is October and we haven’t passed legislation yet,” Shah said. “We need to be working on proactive things for SGA. It’s a privilege to be a senator and I love working with you all, and we really need to get stuff done.”

The SGA Senate meets in the Union room 332 every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Featured Image: SGA members discuss executive reports and future projects during their meeting Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. Image by Ricardo Vazquez Garcia

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Carter Mize

Carter Mize

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