North Texas Daily

SGA opens House of Representatives applications

SGA opens House of Representatives applications

November 12
22:07 2014

Joshua Knopp / News Editor

A month and a half after voting the House of Representatives into existence, UNT’s Student Government Association has opened online applications for the organization-based body.

The House is the brainchild of SGA president Troy Elliott and vice president Kamaeron Willard and the culmination of their effort to get student organizations active and represented in student government. The House will have 40 seats, divided into 10 groups of four for each category of student organization. Elliott and Willard previously stated getting student organizations involved will make SGA more relevant to the modern student body.

They would have started sooner, but the vote to bring the House into existence only drew 3 percent of the student body. Raising the percentage of students who vote was another primary goal of the Elliott/Willard platform, and they were shooting for at least 10 percent in this vote. Because of the disappointing turnout, indicating not enough students knew what was happening, Elliott said they would spend a few weeks making sure everyone was informed. Online House applications opened Monday.

To raise awareness for future elections, SGA has also formed a voter turnout committee.

Elliott cannot access the current applications, but said they received 19 within the first hour of availability.

“My biggest concern is I can’t see what’s going on,” he said. “I really love the interest.”

Marketing director Adam Alattry is seeking applicants via mass email and on social media. He said SGA also sent representatives to as many student organizations as it could.

“It’s a first, so there’s a lot more work,” he said. “Basically, we’re trying to get the word out there.”

Xavier Carson introduced the committee to increase voter turnout, which will focus on the next presidential election in the spring. The past two years, this vote has only drawn 6 percent and 8 percent of the student population.

“I think it’s about getting ahead of the game,” Carson said. “It strengthens the organization as a whole, because whenever you can say, ‘Hey, we had 90 percent of student voter turnout … ‘ We can say, ‘Hey, 90 percent of the student population voted for this.’”

Carson said they would be working primarily with the Political Science department and the Mayborn School of Journalism, with whom SGA has worked before.

Student organizations may have nominees apply at sga.unt.edu.

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