North Texas Daily

SGA nixes student involvement bill

SGA nixes student involvement bill

SGA nixes student involvement bill
October 02
18:43 2013

Joshua Knopp / Staff Writer

The UNT Student Government Association voted 14 to 11 tonight not to pass a bill that would require senators to gather at least 20 student signatures to introduce a piece of legislation.

The bill was hotly debated, with veteran senators on both sides of the issue.

Undeclared business junior Adam Hasley, who has been with SGA since fall 2011, said they’ve been trying for years to increase student involvement and this bill would have helped.

“Keep in mind the main reason you’re here is to talk to constituents,” he said. “This bill would actually make it mandatory to get students involved in all SGA activities.”

Behavior analysis senior Morgan Ray was one of the main debaters against, said the bill’s logistics were flawed.

Ray said because legislation has a deadline to be introduced and verifying the signatures takes time, there would end up being less time to work on a piece of legislation. The bill also had language that was meant to stop senators from getting signatures without really informing students, but Ray said this would bog down the process even further.

She also thought getting student opinions would discourage senators from writing legislation in the first place.

“This would be another thing that would be intimidating to me trying to get involved in this,” she said. “I think there are a lot of extra steps.”

International studies junior Shamaal Fletcher thought reducing the amount of legislation that reaches the senate floor would be a good thing.

“People bring legislation before the senate like crazy,” Fletcher said. “I think if you’re intimidated to get 20 signatures for a bill that you should be passionate about, maybe you shouldn’t be writing it.”

Matthew Varnell, pre-journalism junior and director of public relations, said SGA is working through Twitter to interact more with students, and they’ve started a new Instagram to further connect. The account is “NorthTexasSGA” and does not have any posts at this time.

President and pre-political science junior Zachary Brown said senators should focus less on SGA’s process and more on helping students.

“Let’s think of things that we can do that don’t involve re-writing our bylaws every single week,” he said.

Bill F 2013-2 Legislative Submission was reformed and discussed the majority of the SGA meeting in sage Hall. The bill was lead in its decision by Pedro Ortiz, a communications major at UNT. The debate had senators for and against, but it was not passed. Feature photo by Porschia Paxton / Intern

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