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SGA passes first legislation of the year

Belmont’s Student Government Association passed its first legislation of the academic year at its Monday meeting, amending its bylaws concerning the impeachment process and passing resolutions that included redefining the multiple leadership policy and opening a second entrance the Curb garage under special circumstances.

SGA had passed bylaws with the intention of amending them at the previous meeting, but this was solely to allow congress to function, said Alex Marsh, policy review chair.

SGA’s first course of action for the 2015-2016 academic year was to amend its bylaws to combat this confusion after the Judicial Review Board’s proceedings remained unclear surrounding the impeachment hearing for former President Jeanette Morelan during spring of 2014, said Marsh.

“It was a conflict of interest because the people who were in JRB were also in congress,” he said. “And the only way to overrule a JRB ruling was to have so many votes, but with the people in JRB it was almost impossible to do. So, we wanted to give ourselves some power to where we could rule official opinions but not have as much power as they did last year.”

The legislation details the proceedings as an initial “interpretation hearing” where the simple majority would share its opinion on whether an action was constitutional or not. The second portion of the process includes the impeachment hearing where the chair of the policy review committee will oversee the proceedings, and congress members will vote. Impeachment requires a two-thirds vote from congress.

As well as the amendment in the bylaws, SGA presented three resolutions and passed two at the meeting.

The Multiple Student Leadership Policy is a continuation of a previous resolution that current Vice President Jade Cooper worked on in the spring before SGA’s activities were suspended.

Congressperson Danny Zydel authored the most recent version of the MSLP resolution which states, “the current MSLP is too broad and prevents overlap of positions that do not necessarily interfere with each other.”

Specifically, the new resolution decreases the number of positions that cannot overlap to the following leadership positions: SGA President and Vice-President, Student Activities Programming Executive Board, Towering Tradition Leaders, Orientation Council, Greek Council Officers, Fitness and Recreation Student Coordinators and Bruin Recruiter President.

Residence Life now decides how many leadership positions a residential assistant can hold on a case-by-case basis.

The Curb Garage Resolution also passed at the meeting. The resolution would allow access to the fourth floor entrance on 15th Avenue to the Curb parking garage during “inclement weather” or special events to improve safety, Zydel said.

SGA postponed definitely a Board of Trustees Resolution to be reviewed at the next meeting. The resolution would make currently closed board of trustee meetings more accessible by inviting two students, two staff and two faculty representatives.

“I like the idea. I think there are some improvements to be made,” said President Jonathan Rankin. “I would not sign it the way it is now. Adding six people to the board of trustees is huge. There’s no way the board of trustees will do what we’re asking them to do in the resolution.”

Rankin said he suggests that SGA discuss the resolution more thoroughly with recent alumni to make a more informed decision.

In the meantime, SGA is gathering student voices about space reallocation of Gabhart, Hitch and Wheeler through coffee and conversation on Monday at 10 a.m. in the Beaman and through a Space Reallocation Town Hall on Nov. 11 from 5-6:30 p.m. in Beaman A & B.

“This is a huge deal that senior leadership has bestowed their trust in us once more,” said Sarah Ritter, chair of campus outreach and events. “And they are letting students have an actual voice in choosing what to do with these spaces. Let them know that this is their opportunity to really make a difference.”

SGA’s next meeting is Oct. 16 in WAC 1034.

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