North Texas Daily

SGA discusses structure changes in first semester meeting

SGA discusses structure changes in first semester meeting

SGA discusses structure changes in first semester meeting
September 12
08:04 2013

Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer

The Student Government Association held introductions and finished up business from the summer session in its first meeting of the semester last night.

The group approved the annual budget and was educated on a new policy to keep track of their contributions and a referendum to combine the vice president position with the currently vacant speaker of the house position.

They also appointed three new officers – applied behavior analysis senior Morgan Ray became the temporary speaker, hospitality management junior Valeria Ochoa was elected secretary and pre-political science senior T’Corey Wright was tabbed as the new sergeant at arms.

The $240,699 budget was approved with some debate over specific items on the $8,000 leadership and development budget. International studies junior Shamaal Fletcher, who asked about a $1,500 dinner on that budget, said there was probably extra money allocated for the dinners that would go into other parts of the budget.

“What’ll happen is they’ll spend some money, but they probably won’t spend the entire thing,” he said.

Fletcher said SGA will attempt to spend all the money it has been allotted so that it won’t lose money for next year’s budget.

President Zachary Brown said the consolidation of the speaker and vice president positions is an attempt to streamline communication in SGA. In the past, the senate has elected a speaker from its own ranks.

“What that creates is a divide between the senate and the executive branch,” Brown said. “You don’t need a separate person to run the meetings.”

SGA will hold a special election for all students Sept. 25 to 27 to approve the referendum. Students will be able to vote at SGA.UNT.edu/voting. Results will be posted Sept. 30.

Vice president Anthony Brown, who stands to become the speaker if the referendum passes, said he was just happy students would get to decide.

“It’s never a bad thing to get student opinions on any issue,” Anthony Brown said.

The policy change, sponsored by Wright, introduces a point system to keep track of senator contributions. Approved in the summer session, the bill now requires senators to collect 12 points every half semester through SGA activity.

Wright said the requirement isn’t stringent, as senators will only need to participate in one activity outside of attending all their meetings to get their points.

“We tried to definitely write it in a way that everyone could contribute,” Wright said.

If senators do not get enough points the first half of the semester, they will be put on probation. If they don’t get enough again while on probation, they will be asked if they want to resign. Wright said he does not anticipate this will be a problem.

“We don’t want to kick anyone out of the senate,” Wright said. “We had an unspoken requirement of, ‘are you available to do things outside the weekly meetings.’ It’s just a way to keep track of it.”

Feature photo by Zixian Chen / Intern

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