The Student Government Association held a meeting on March 31 to discuss the current status of the university and changes to Spring Break and commencement as well as voting on two resolutions and SGA bylaws.
After a call to order by Vice President for Student Services Kourtney Easterly, Vice President of Academic Affairs Larry Heath began the officer reports.
He said that after meeting with the Admissions and Standards Committee, the motion to move Spring Break was passed. Spring Break is now scheduled to take place near March 12th, but the changes will not go into effect until 2013.
Heath also met with the Commencement Committee and reported that graduation may be reduced to one graduation ceremony annually in May.
“They are intending to limit the number of graduations to just one. Instead of having one in December and May, chances are there will just be one graduation ceremony that will happen in May,” he said. “This would be largely to cut costs and expenses and to help process the number of graduates we have over the summer that don’t get a ceremony.”
Heath also introduced the two resolutions that would be discussed later.
Vice President of Budget and Finance Nicholas Alexander said every organization that applied for funding this year received money for mid-year allocations.
“We were pretty big with mid-year allocation. We had a good turn out for applications,” he said. “A good thing to take away from that is that we were able to provide every single organization that applied for funding money.”
Alexander also congratulated the newly elected officers, four of whom were present. Vice President of Public Relations Chris Sumter was not able to make the meeting, but Easterly said that he had primarily been working on the helping the transition for the newly-elected Vice President of Public Affairs.
Vice President of Student Life Britney Penn reported on of the upcoming collaboration with the Atlanta Neighborhood Cleanup Association for the Earth Day Clean Up on April 16 at 9 a.m.
“I really want all of you to come out and support,” she said. “The ANCA is working very hard to collaborate with GSU and get more students involved so this is our chance to do that. There are sign up sheets in the Office of Civic Engagement.”
Easterly congratulated the new official SGA members and the student body on the success of election process.
“It is really great, as someone that has been in SGA for a while, to see such a really great turnout,” Easterly said. “With the elections, a lot of people were interested in SGA, and that’s an important thing since we are the official voice of the students.”
James Dutton, SGA president for the current 2010-2011 term and the upcoming 2011-2012 term, then made his statements.
He said that all organizations that applied for money received it, although the art gallery did apply for funding but did not receive it because it was not under the umbrella of student organizations. The amount of funding for each organization has already been awarded and now must be distributed to the individual organizations.
After the conclusion of the officer reports, Heath outlined the first resolution to be voted on for the evening, the “Reading Period Assignment Moratorium Resolution.” The resolution states that all previously unscheduled, non-optional exams, papers, quizzes or reports during the week before finals should be given a moratorium, or suspension, and moved to the week before that, or two weeks before finals.
“The idea of this resolution is that students should have the opportunity to study effectively for their finals, without having to worry about additional assignments like papers, exams, et cetera,” said Heath. “The ideal of this was not to infringe upon a teacher’s discretion as to if the class is going to meet like most reading periods do at other universities. We just prefer that students don’t have to do additional assignments that would take away their time to study effectively for their finals.”
Senator Ben Williams questioned if the resolution would add an additional week to the school year or take out a week in the already shortened term. Heath said that the resolution only states that no assignments would be due during this moratorium week, but classes would still meet regularly, so new content could still be introduced during this proposed week.
Dutton approved of the proposed resolution.
“I think there is a way that we can work it out so that we won’t be infringing on faculty and staff, but at the same time I’m here for the students,” he said. “If it’s better for the students, I’m for it.”
The resolution was tabled under the motion to set up a committee to restructure the resolution.
Heath also introduced the second “Online Syllabi Resolution.” This resolution is in favor of making all online syllabi available to students for core courses before registration to reduce the amount of dropping during the add/drop period and to let students know what to expect before enrolling in a course.
The resolution was passed to send on to the subcommittee.
Williams went over proposed changes to the SGA Bylaws. The attendance policy for the SGA would have officers on probation after two unexcused absence followed by immediate dismissal after any additional absences.
The other change in the bylaws would make future candidates for President and Executive Vice President of SGA serve as an elected official in SGA beforehand and make officers suspended and removed from office ineligible to run in the next elections cycle.
All of the sections were then approved to move forward to a subcommittee with the exception of the new requirements for President and Executive Vice President candidates.
Published Apr. 5, 2011 in “The Signal“