North Texas Daily

SGA senators will have office hours

SGA senators will have office hours

July 09
23:10 2015

Paul Wedding | Staff Writer

The Student Government Association unanimously passed two bills and discussed possible changes to the current House of Representatives Thursday at its meeting in Business Leadership Building 255.

Both bills were passed with the overarching goal of increasing awareness of SGA around campus, something the new executives have had their eye on since being elected in the spring.

The first bill addressed several amendments to SGA’s bylaws, mandating required office hours for SGA senators. The purpose of this would be to increase the availability of senators for students, SGA vice president Christopher Lee said.

“Students don’t know where the senators are necessarily, so if they know where they are, they can meet them in the office to talk to them,” Lee said.

Each senator will be required to be at their desk for one hour a week, but it would not be required to be consecutive, so they could have two 30-minute sessions.

SGA senator Kylie Fischer raised a concern that SGA senators from the college of engineering may not be able to make the available time, because they spend a majority of their class time at Discovery Park. It was then proposed that those senators may set up an office at Discovery Park if needed.

SGA senators may now be appointed by the Senate twice instead of once. The two ways of becoming a senator are by being elected or making a case to be appointed to the senate. SGA president Adam Alattry said this was to increase representation among colleges at UNT should no one else run for senate.

SGA also amended the appointment forms to electronic, replacing the paper forms.

SGA elections have been held annual for four years, but was not officially written in the bylaws, so senators Thursday formally changed the wording to its bylaws that stated elections were done once every spring. SGA got rid of fall elections after homecoming committee took over the responsibilities of homecoming.

The second bill approved the purchase of a $1,104 tent for tailgating at football games and other events.

“We’ve wanted one pretty much every year and we had some money left over in summer budget so we’re getting it,” Alattry said. “It’s multi-purpose and would give us added visibility on campus.”

While the tent was expensive, it will be used for years to come and make up for the cost, Alattry said.

After voting was finished, Speaker of the House of Representatives Billy Poer presented possible changes to the House’s structure.

The House was established Fall 2014, and many in the SGA  have found it unproductive and wanted it changed or even dissolved.

“Internally, we have enough issues without trying to create a whole other entity that isn’t that sound,” SGA senator Dawaelyne Jones said.

Poer’s proposed House would be combined with the Eagle’s Nest Committee. The Eagle’s Nest Committee is the fund for the various organizations on campus. In the House, there would be a speaker, four voting members from student organizations elected by the House, and faculty that would vote as well. The reason for four members is due to low participation from organizations in the past. More voting members may be added later if participation increases, Poer said.

Poer wants the House to be a self-sustaining body of representatives helping each other out.

To close the meeting, Lee made two announcements offering insight into SGA was working on. They are continuing to finalize the how voting will work now that the Graduate Student Council is separate from the SGA.

The SGA has also been reaching out to other student governments at Texas universities. This began after the SGA wrote a letter against campus carry in coaltion with student governments across the state.

“We’re trying to start a conversation across college campuses,” Lee said.

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