Thursday, February 4, 2010

02-03-10 Student Government meeting

I want to start off by thanking everybody who commented on my last blog. I received a lot of interesting feedback. If you have not read it yet, click here to do so. One thing to remember is that I also allow anonymous comments on my blog. If you completely disagree with me and want to call me stupid, but don't want your name attached to it, feel free to do it anonymously. See more information at the end, during the disclaimer portion of the blog.

Before I get into the "SGA stuff," I want to point out one of the best pieces I've read in the opinions section of The Concordian in a long time. It's written by Wendy Holdren, the Editor-in-Chief of the paper, and suggests that trash cans should be placed in the parking lots. She argues that this would possibly help the litter problem. Click here to check it out.

If you're not a fan of serious reporting, check out the Sports section of the paper. If you want to know what the basketball coach keeps in his fridge, click here.

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I was taking notes during the meeting, so I didn't send out many tweets. The ones I did send out are below. You can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/chris_slater

Terms:

"RT" means Re-Tweet. If you see "RT" before a message, that means I'm re-posting what somebody else said. You can leave your own comments before the "RT" in the message.

If a message begins with "@_______" that means it is a reply to that person. If I write "@buckskeen," I am sending a reply to Buck. It's still public and people can see my reply.

The tweets are below. The first one was sent out about 45 minutes before the meeting started.

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On Concord's chilly campus.

I like to show up to the State Room - where the @CU_SGA meeting is held - really early, so I can pick out which seat I want.

I also like to watch people filter in & gradually watch the mood change from an empty room to a bustling meeting atmosphere.

It's gotten a lot louder in the room. Wonder if anything "interesting" will happen today...

I would be interested in seeing a breakdown of how many membere from fraternities & sororities hold positions in the @CU_SGA

I hear people talking about the yearbook. Again, where is the yearbook? It's taken about 8 months so far, & the 08-09 book isn't done yet.

A few more people in here than usual. Wonder what's up...

The Secretary keeps calling "The Concordian" during roll call. The paper broke away from the SGA nearly 6 years ago. Shouldn't be on roll.

I don't like how people in @CU_SGA giggle when asking for "qualifications" during appointments. It shows that it's nothing more than a joke.

The SGA VP will send out an e-mail with 4 possible Spring Fling scenarios. If u care, reply to her e-mail.

The Yearbook rep just asked for pictires for next year's yearbook. Are they working on 3 different books @ the same time now?

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To update the Spring Fling situation, there will be an e-mail sent out by the SGA Vice President, Akeya Carter-Bozman (on Twitter at @MzfutureCEO). The e-mail will be sent to all Concord students and will have four options for what to do with Spring Fling.

I haven't seen the e-mail yet and am unsure what the options are. I'm guessing two of them are "Give all the money to Haiti" and "Keep all the money for ourselves." The other two options are probably something along the lines of "Give some of the money to Haiti and keep some of it."

I'll post a copy of the e-mail whenever I see it.

It's really important that students reply to Akeya's e-mail and have their voices heard. Each student has invested roughly $26 to the SGA and a portion of that money goes to the Spring Fling. It doesn't seem like much, but it's the principle of the matter. It's your money, let the SGA know what you want done with it.

This is probably an example of one area where Jeff Yeager's SGA Presidency has failed so far - transparency. Transparency, in the sense that students know what their SGA is doing. It was something Jeff promised on the campaign trail last semester and it was something he mentioned in the beginning of the semester - to make sure the students of Concord know what their SGA is doing.

I wonder how many students are aware of the Haiti/Spring Fling situation? They're going to receive an e-mail about it, but how many are going to read it? If it's sent through the traditional means - by Lynis Hill, through the student list serve - I doubt many students will read it. Most see her name in the "From" line & hit delete.

There was a lot of potential for the SGA to be more transparent. First, there's the SGA Twitter account, which I have linked several times above. The problem with that is that nobody has sent out a tweet since August 15, 2009.

We were also promised a series of YouTube videos from the Attorney General, Bill Lewis. The first one, from August 13, 2009, promised more transparency from the SGA. We haven't seen another since then. Video is embedded below.



I'm not sure why the SGA isn't trying harder to utilize Facebook in an effort to reach out to Concord students. It's clearly the most popular of the social-network mediums among Concord students. I don't know why a group hasn't been created called "SGA Information" or something like that, which would keep students updated on things like the Haiti/Spring Fling deal or budgetary whatnots & other SGA-related rumblings.

I'm not sure which SGA committee would look into something like this. SGA Affairs? Technology? Publicity? Tuition & Fees? Okay, probably not Tuition & Fees.

I may re-visit this thought in a few weeks or so. I'll see how the "higher ups" in the SGA respond. Maybe they'll pop out a new YouTube video and start tweeting a little bit more. We'll see what happens with that.

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Some people were appointed to new positions at the 02-03-10 meeting.

In committee news -

Ashley Green is now chairing the Dining committee. Some girl whose name I didn't catch is now chairing the Publications committee. If the Publications committee merges with the Publicity committee, she would chair the new committee. [If anybody has her name, let me know...]

In Senator news -

Richard Babich, Josh Hannah, Hannah Matics, and Erica Meadows were all confirmed as Senators.

In Justice news -

SGA President Jeff Yeager selected Robert May as a Justice. It will become official pending a Judicial Branch confirmation.

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I only wanted to have one complaint in this blog, but I went off on that "transparency deal" before I got to my main complaint from the 02-03-10 SGA meeting. It's not just a complaint from this meeting, it's been a complaint for the last couple years.

I tweeted about it during the meeting -

I don't like how people in @CU_SGA giggle when asking for "qualifications" during appointments. It shows that it's nothing more than a joke.


When the President brings forth a Senator candidate, the floor is opened for discussion. There hasn't been real discussion on the Senate floor in years. The Senate are sheep who do what the Executive Board tell them to. They say, "Confirm this," and they confirm it. "Don't confirm this," and they don't.

Since they know that this person is going to be appointed with no question, the Senate members like to joke around and ask for a candidates' qualifications.

There's a reason a lot of people don't take the SGA seriously. It's because they don't take themselves seriously. Doing things like that makes you come across like a room full of kids "playing SGA" instead of being an SGA.

That's just a little food-for-thought, from a guy who has seen way too many incarnations of the Student Government Association.

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That looks like everything I have to share.

As usual, here's the disclaimer:

I import these blogs into Facebook. That gives me the option to "tag" people, sending them an e-mail notification. I tag people for two reasons - 1) if I mention you by name & 2) if I think you will find this interesting. If you are tagged and don't want to be, let me know. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be tagged in the future, let me know.

There is a comment feature on this blog & I don't mind if you use it. It's cool to disagree, as long as it's kept civil. Anonymous comments are allowed, as long as it's relevant & mildly profanity free.

7 comments:

  1. My freshman year was the last great debate in the student senate concerning an appointment. Any guess as to who it was?

    ....

    Bryan Henderson. He was unhappy with the appointment of, if I recall correctly, Buck Skeen to Justice. It was one of my first meetings as freshman senator and showed how the senate should handle appointments...well, that is until the senate was swayed back and forth by who made fun of the other person the most.

    My complaint is the same as yours: the senate needs to act like young adults and not children. Some do successfully, but the majority find themselves "giggling like children" as you have coined.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A couple small things....The senator appointed to Publicity was Senator Mccoy. I'm unsure of her first name. The senator appointed yesterday was Erika Romero, not Meadows. And its not the Judicial branch that vets candidates for Justice, but this isn't something I'd expect people to know, as it isn't widely publicized. The Judiciary committee was created by last year's Judicial reform in order to put a check on the President's decision, considering he wouldn't necessarily have much knowledge of the Judicial Branch. It is also there to review Judicial procedure. Judiciary is chaired by a Vice-presidential appointee (I am the current chair), and consists of three senators and three justices.

    Now to more important things....

    I agree with the fact that calling for qualifications is a childish thing to do in some instances and that it was unnecessary yesterday. but I disagree with the fact that the senate are sheep who do what they are told in confirming appointments.

    If someone resigns from an exective position and the President appoints someone new, then it would be acceptable to ask for qualifications. An example would be last year when Vice-President Kelly Ratliff graduated in December and a new VP had to be found. When putting someone into an executive position, the Senate should care about what experience that person has and what makes them more qualified than other candidates.

    However, Senator appointments are very different. Other than being an organizational rep, there isn't any position below senator, so ther person applying isn't going to have many qualifications. Occaisionally you will get someone who has been an org rep before, and there are some people that may have been involved in student gov in high school.

    The executive board has a list of questions they ask most candidates to see how they will do in the position, and generally pick the people they believe will be the most dedicated and show the most potential. Unless the Senate wants to re-interview them during the meeting, or unless they have strong reason to believe the person being appointed is a bad choice, sometimes they have no better option than to just approve the appointment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dustin,

    I remember that. To the best of my knowledge, that was the last big debate in the SGA. It may have gotten a little heated, and a little unprofessional, but it was still a debate.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ashley,

    Maybe I should have added an asterisk to my comment. It should read, "The Senate are sheep*"

    *Most of them.

    There are a lot of hard-working, dedicated students in the SGA. But, on the same hand, there are a lot of people who are only there because nobody else in the organization wants to go. Those are the people who don't pay attention & look around to see how they should vote on certain issues. Those are the people I'm talking about. At times, it is a majority of the SGA. Sometimes, it's not.

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  5. Ashley,

    Also, I forgot about the Judiciary committee. Thanks for reminding me about that & the two peoples names.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Chris,

    I appreciate you reminding me about the SGA's need for greater transparency. I am definitely overdue for another "President's Desk" blog, and there is no reason why our Tech Committee can't get other things rolling, including the facebook group and the twitters. I'm not the most technologically adept person, but we can do better than we're doing.

    And, the Senator in question's name is Megan McCoy.

    See everyone next week,

    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  7. Chris,

    I do believe that was part of the reason for the amendment that failed so horribly last semester. Which, by failing, showed that a lot of them do car at least to an extent.

    But my main purpose in what I was writing the above wasn't to say whether or not the senate cares. It was more to say that there isn't much necessity in calling qualifcations for Senators, because there isn't much for them to have had experience in.

    ReplyDelete