North Texas Daily

Proposed seat reallocations featured on SGA election ballot

Proposed seat reallocations featured on SGA election ballot

Proposed seat reallocations featured on SGA election ballot
March 30
08:00 2022

With Student Government Association elections underway, one item on the ballot requires the student body’s approval to reallocate available senate seats, creating a new minimum and maximum for each college.

“Every year, the president introduces a piece of legislation that basically allocates the senate seats based on population,” SGA President Devon Skinner said.

Skinner said while reallocations are a normal process for the SGA, the recently approved constitutional amendments need to be approved by the student body in a referendum for the changes to take effect. If it does not pass, the current seat structure will stay the same for the upcoming school year.

The senate’s current seat makeup is divided based on how much of the overall student body population each college represents, giving larger colleges such as the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences 11 seats for its more than 8,000 students. Smaller colleges such as the College of Music only have one senate seat.

Under the proposed allocation, all colleges would have no less than two senate seats while larger colleges with more than 11 percent of the student body population are allowed four.

“I’m very excited to see, should this pass, what the effect is going to have on the student body and the student body’s representation,” Skinner said.

Chief of Staff Casey Jimenez said while larger colleges would have to adjust to less seats, students and the senate overall could benefit from more competition for available spots.

“It just depends on what you believe is the best representation for you, whether that’s having more seats within your college or if it is having a concentrated amount of people to hold those seats,” Jimenez said.

Under the proposal, Jimenez’s college, Health and Public Service, would drop to two seats instead of three.

“I think it brings up the better individuals within the college that are running,” Jimenez said.

While all schools and colleges are allowed senate representation under the current system, the Mayborn School of Journalism was not given any seats due to its absorption into CLASS in 2019. If the allocation changes are approved, Mayborn would receive its own two senate seats.

“The constitution, in the current and recommended language, says ‘schools, colleges or academies,’” Skinner said. “[The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science] is an academy and they receive seats, so the commission believed that Mayborn should receive seats as well.”

Other new additions to the senate would be two seats for the New College in Frisco instead of just one representing the Frisco campus.

“We actually have more seats in the senate now than we originally started with,” College of Music Senator Beige Cowell said.

Currently the only senator representing their college, Cowell believes the new constitution and seat allocation will be good for the senate.

“I really think that we have a have a good proposal for the student body to consider,” Cowell said.

A member of the commission in charge of proposing the allocations along with Skinner and Jimenez, Cowell originally wanted the senate to resemble the U.S. Senate with only two seats for each college, but still approved the 11 percent rule when it was added.

“To me, the biggest issue was colleges with only one representative really needed more than that,” Cowell said.

The seats have not changed significantly for several years and the allocation could allow more representation for students, said Cowell. One opportunity for more representation exists in the proposed addition of five “at-large” seats.

“[Those senators] can be from any college, any major, any minor,” Cowell said. “They can still be doing work and representing the student body more as a unified collective.”

The at-large seats would be separate from the other colleges and represent the student body as a whole, said Cowell. This allows prospective senators to join the organization even if their college already has all of its seats filled.

Because the at-large seats will not exist unless approved with the rest of the seat changes in the election, no students can currently run for the seats. If it passes and the seats become available, they will likely be filled sometime next semester until they are incorporated in future elections with the other colleges, Skinner said.

“Once elections are back up, that should be on the ballot,” Skinner said. “Whoever is in the university can run for those.”

The SGA election week ends at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 31. Students can vote online on Campus Labs at

Featured Image: David Muñoz-Sarabia gives his executive report during a senate meeting on March 2, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Alex Reece

Alex Reece

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