North Texas Daily

SGA Senate gains one member but stalls on legislation at latest meeting

SGA Senate gains one member but stalls on legislation at latest meeting

SGA Senate gains one member but stalls on legislation at latest meeting
October 17
22:02 2019

The SGA Senate appointed a new senator for the College of Business and a new member of the Supreme Court at their Wednesday meeting, bringing the organization’s total number of senators up to 27 out of the mandated 45 positions.

Business analytics sophomore Melissa Rwehumbiza, a former orientation leader, was unanimously approved for senate appointment, where she hopes to articulate the hopes of the student body, she said.

“I’m very passionate about listening to people that may feel unheard and validating how they feel, and turning that into action,” Rwehmiza said. “So whatever I can do to help in any way possible, I’ll do that.”

Rwehmiza may be one of more new senators to come, as SGA leaders work to recruit more senators to fill an 18-seat gap of vacant seats SGA Vice President Hillary Shah said is stalling senate efforts to create legislation.

Five senators left the senate three weeks ago – four of which expressed their inability to attend senate meetings due to other obligations. One senator lost their seat after failing to attend enough meetings.

SGA Communications Director Noah Hutchison said the organization will continue to publicize open positions on social media and visit with individual colleges to attract new applicants. The strategy has already gained considerable attention, Hutchison said, attracting seven applications within the past few weeks.

“It’s going good so far on social media. We’ve had a really awesome response,” Hutchison said. “…This past month it’s been hard to see what we’ve been doing because there’s been no legislation and that’s the first things student’s see, but we’ve done a lot administratively.”

Students may apply for senate appointment if they meet GPA and attendance requirements in the SGA constitution and receive 25 signatures from members of their college. Shah then reviews applications for validity, then passes accepted applications to the senate for approval.

The Senate has yet to pass legislation this semester, though two resolutions appeared on the senate agenda Wednesday evening without undergoing any discussion or vote.

The resolutions may appear before the Senate next week if enough senators attend the meeting to establish a quorum. Multiple senators expressed interest in attending a campus lecture by hip-hop artist Common that will occur around the same time as the Senate’s weekly meetings.

SGA Senators tabled a resolution by Honors College Senator Angie Whistler and seven other senators “strongly and unequivocally urging” UNT administrators to reveal the university’s intentions in acquiring several Avenue C properties through eminent domain.

The resolution would mandate the creation of a campus-wide, anonymous survey, sent out “at the beginning of the Spring semester,” for students to express their opinions on UNT’s authorization of eminent domain. An ad-hoc committee established by the resolution would develop questions for the survey, possibly by the end of the fall semester, Whistler said.

Another resolution, submitted by Keaton Hare, senator for the College of Health and Public Services, aims to remove instances of gendered language from syllabi. If passed as-is, the resolution would appear before the “Faculty Senate, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Students, and all of the department chairs,” the resolution said.

The SGA Senate meets every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Union, room 332.

Featured Image: SGA leaders listen to senators comment about tabling legislation during their meeting on Oct. 16, 2019. Image by Carter Mize

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Carter Mize

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