Wednesday, March 3, 2010

02-24-10 SGA meeting

I wanted to put down some thoughts on the 02-24-10 meeting of the Student Government while they're still relevant. I would apologize for this being so late, but when I wrote about the SGA meeting for The Concordian back in the day, it wouldn't appear in print until a week later. That's one reason why the print journalism industry is fading away - online is much quicker. But, that's another story for another time.

I posted some thoughts about the SGA's recent attempts to be more trasnparent. Click here to read it. I discuss the new SGA Facebook & Twitter accounts.

I sent out a few tweets during the meeting. I posted them in the blog I wrote about last week's issue of The Concordian. Click here to check those out.

The SGA meeting began with a motion to go into closed session. Closed session is typically invoked so that people can speak openly and freely about ideas, without fear of retribution. Anybody not representing an organization or otherwise affiliated with the SGA needs to leave the room. Basically, that means that newspaper reporters have to leave. In all the years that I've been attending SGA meetings while reporting for the Concordian or this blog, closed session has been used likely less than 10 times. Of all those times, there have never been more than 6 people who have to leave, and on a few occasions, I was the only person who had to go.

I've had four different people tell me what happened during the closed session. They voted on members of the Budgetary committee, then committee heads were given a list of initiatives by the SGA President.

The Budgetary committee has never been voted on in closed session. There's nothing "secretive" about that. I don't understand why they did that. If anybody wants to shed light on that, feel free to leave a comment.

I can kind of understand the committee thing. Nobody wants me to blog a transcript of Jeff Yeager telling the committee chairs that they're doing a bad job.

But, still, I don't know if it was necessary for the closed session. That's what most people are saying, at least.

One point brought up was that nobody questioned the motion for closed session. Nobody asked, "Why are we doing this?". I have a theory. It seems like this is something that was planned out by a group of people. They got together before the meeting and said, "We're going to go into closed session and [do this]..." So, when the motion came up, a majority of people in the room already knew it was happening.

That's just my theory.

Anyway, here's a rundown of some things of interest from the meeting:

Technology committee is trying to define what is "acceptable use" for campus computers ... noted that Concord University's tech committee (different from the SGA committee) is working on renovating "distance learning" classrooms and that upgrades to the "Blackboard" learning utensil will be needed soon

ADA committee chair Jenn Smith noted that menus at Subway are now available in braile ... she is working on getting large-print menus as well

Rob Elsaid gave the Higher Education committee report ... said the Administration considered the event to be a success ... they are still talking to some legislators

Concord University Affairs committee (abbreviated CUSAC, pronounced Q-Sack) noted that they are reviewing the Student Life Policy, and made 5 - mostly cosmetic - changes to the policy wording so far

Attorney General Bill Lewis noted that he & SGA Advisor Marjie Flanigan were working on holding a seminar for students affiliated with Greek organizations on the subject of hazing ... he also took away the voting rights of about 10 or so organizations for having 3 or more absences

Board of Governors student representative Curtis Kearns gave updates on 3 committees he is presently serving on ... the Vice President & Academic Dean search committee is down to 4 possible choices ... a committee to find a new security officer is coming to a close (Kearns noted that one candidate graduated from Concord) ... the committee for a Human Relations Director is coming along ... He discussed whether or not the President of Concord can fire people without getting approval from the BOG ... Kearns brought up that the Governor of WV is behind keeping tuition at state institutions low; something Kearns is fighting for as chair of the Tuition & Fees committee

Faculty Senate rep Ashley Green mentioned that the Faculty are discussing getting a Masters program in Medical Science ... if they got the program, 1 faculty member would be hired in the first year, with another hired in the third year

President Jeff Yeager gave his report ... he apologized for cancelling the last meeting on such short notice - "We had an hour, we did the best we could do" ... discussed Higher Education Day - "Concord did make a favorable impression on the legislators in Charleston" ... He is presently serving on a committee to find a replacment for Greg Quick ... Also on a committee to find a new Director of Financial Aid, as Patricia Harmon has departed Concord ... Had a conversation w/ VP Charles Becker, where he told Jeff that he didn't think there would be a large tuition increase for the next academic year

The legislation to combine the Publicity & Publications committees passed. I don't know if it has a new name, or if one was just absorbed into the other.

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I missed a couple things during the meeting, if anybody wants to fill those in:

I didn't get the names of the people appointed to the Election committee. I believe there were 5 people mentioned. They oversee the election for SGA officials, handle any complaints and count the votes.

I also missed one person from the Budgetary committee. I know Adam Pauley, Travis McReynolds, Kiwa Nadas, and Rob Elsaid were appointed. I'm missing one guy. I think his last name is Pavey...

* * *

That looks like everything for now.

Here's my 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.

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