Friday, April 26, 2013

SGA meeting notes [04-23-13]

As I was sitting in the meeting room of the Student Government Association waiting for the meeting to start, I noticed that there weren't a lot of people there. Then I realized that it was "Greek Week," which is where the fraternities and sororities play silly games against each other for bragging rights to say that they won that year's edition of silly games.

One year in the past, I know the SGA did not achieve quorum, the minimum number of attendees required to have a meeting, during Greek Week. It's an issue every year, and on at least one occasion the meeting was canceled during the events. So, that was on my mind as I was sitting there.

A girl standing in the row in front of me started talking to a couple other girls around her. The girl talking was wearing a Delta Zeta shirt and she was talking to another DZ member and a girl from Alpha Sigma Tau. She had this genius idea - leave the meeting so they can't have quorum. Or, as she put it: "They cain't have a meet-un if they don't have core-um."

I'm not sure what bothered me more, that she had that idea or that I had to listen to her repeat that sentence 5 times.

They left. And a few other people left. And, honestly, the SGA was probably better off without them. If that's how dedicated they are, then I hope they never show back up. They wound up having enough people present for the meeting to start.

Anyway... click here to see a picture from the meeting. Richard Babich wasn't there, so I focused on the other side of the executive board and got a shot of President Josh Hanna and Vice President (and President-Elect) Chelsey Rowe conversing.

Quick note while the subject of core-um is still fresh in our heads, former Faculty Senate student representative Ashley Green noticed this and pointed it out to me - the secretary doesn't call the names of the executive board during the roll call anymore.

The meeting kicked off with Prime Justice Michael Cork revealing to the select few in attendance that it was determined that the Vice President-elect and a Senator were unable to hold the positions they were elected to. It was related to the constitutional questions posed last week about the 2.5 GPA and the clarification of being in "good standing."

So, it turns out that Greg Stamp and one of the Senators (I never bothered to learn who they were) had one or both of those issues. More on that later.

Board of Governors student representative Adam Pauley noted that Thursday's meeting of the BOG had been canceled and would be rescheduled.

The Ombudsman received a complaint about the Internet being down in the North Tower dorm. He said that the IT people had been informed and said that these issues take time. He also announced a new email address to bring forth issues to him - ombudsman[at]concord.edu

This is nothing against whoever the current Ombudsman is, but this used to be a really important position. I don't know what the pay scale is anymore, but I feel like he's getting paid a lot of money to do nothing. And that's because he really doesn't have anything to do. His position is a student-oriented position and the students aren't coming to him.

Maybe the SGA could look into giving the Ombudsman additional duties or cutting the pay or something. It seems like a boring position to have now. He just stands up and say either "no report," or "somebody finally asked me to look into something and I did." The evolving role of the Ombudsman is something for next year's SGA to examine.

Derek Cline, business manager, brought forth a $1500 budget from the International Club for an entry fee into a conference. They received the allocation. Cline said that if your group had not received any money yet, it was because you had a W-9 form to fill out. Also, the last day for budgets is May 1.

VP Chelsey Rowe announced the final(?) event for the upcoming Spring Fling. It's a thing where you can paint a mug and then get it permanently glazed on there.

President Hanna announced that May 9 was the date of the final SGA meeting before being corrected and told that it was May 8. It's a formal meeting. April 23 was the last day for Friedl Award nominations. The winner will be announced on May 8. He also broke the news at the SGA meeting that Concord's President, Dr. Gregory Aloia, had officially resigned to take another job. He filled attendees in on what he thought would probably happen - an interim president, a search committee, then a new president.

This is why I was closely watching the BOG election earlier this semester. They decide the new president. Cody Boone is now officially one of the most important students at Concord University. This is a lot of responsibility for him. Hopefully he can handle it.

Speaking of Cody Boone, the ADA committee report was after the President's report. Boone had a meeting last week with Rick Dillon and noted that there is a $1 million sidewalk renovation project in the works. He said Concord only had to put up $500,000 of it. I'm not sure if he said where the other half of the money was coming from.

Celia Laverty, chair of the Beckley committee, said that she had a small meeting and filled them in on the stuff that was discussed at last week's SGA meeting. She was bringing back Concord-related stuff (shirts and keychains and whatnot) to the Beckley campus.

In the Concord University Student Affairs report, Chelsey Rowe brought up discussion on Concord's potential new "Expungement Policy." Click here to see a picture of her holding the policy, while President Hanna awkwardly touches himself. Or, at least, that's what it looks like he's doing.

A campus police officer was in attendance to give his thoughts. He wanted to make clear to students that the policy does not remove infractions from your criminal record, only from Concord's record. He also asked exactly what the point of this policy was.

VP Rowe responded to him by reiterating that it does not take things off of your criminal record, and that graduate schools, law schools, and various other higher-higher institutions require you to put your school-related infractions on your applications. This policy, she said, was to help those people who made a dumb mistake when they were 18 or 19.

Adam Pauley asked when the expungement process would take place - while you were still a student or after you had graduated?

That seemed to throw Chelsey off for a second, but she thought about it and said that you had to apply before you graduate, otherwise you'd already be in graduate school. That prompted myself and Ashley to exchange a glance, since she took a year off between graduating and going to graduate school. Perhaps somebody could get something expunged after they graduate if they take time off?

The Dining committee report was next. The long-awaited "Wingspan" restaurant was discussed. The chair and President Hanna met with some people from Aramark, Concord's food provider, about the restaurant.

It will replace South of Sicily and Grille Works. Aramark's idea is for the Grille Works side to be a station where you can watch people make your food. The South of Sicily side will have barstools and root beer and cream soda taps etc, with the potential to one day have alcohol if Concord's policy ever changes.

The Dining committee chair and President Hanna both disagreed with the placement of the taps, wanting to include them somewhere at Subway Sides. It was easily the most worked-up and passionate about anything that this SGA body has been this year.

And I'll just leave it at that. When giving my comments during the meeting to Ashley, she was rolling her eyes at me and telling me how wrong I was. And she tolerates me a lot more than anybody else in that room does, so I feel like I have a pretty unpopular opinion.

I wrote down in my notes - "Josh Hanna finally stood up to somebody." We'll leave it at that.

At this point, I noticed that it was raining really hard, which would have likely delayed any Greek Week activities going on that people snuck out of the meeting to attend. That made me happy.

Genevieve Hatcher was unable to attend the meeting, so she had a guy there give her report. He read it off of his phone. He said, "The website is up and watch out for fliers. I don't know what the fliers are for."

The chair of the Technology committee said that a "200 meg" upgrade has been completed. And that was it. I guess that relates to Internet speed.

Regarding the VP and Senator election issues, it was decided that a special election for the VP will be held next week. In new business this week, they needed to reform the Election committee. The names of the members were given, but I didn't catch them.

This caused a little debate between Michael Cork and Adam Pauley, with Pauley wanting to know why we would take this position away from these two people after they were already elected. He asked if they couldn't find an answer to the constitutional questions until after they were elected, why not just use it for future reference and not take away their positions. Cork replied that it was brought up before they were elected, but they were not able to meet to decide on it until after the elections.

And then they went back and forth a few times. Cork lost his cool and got irritated a bit near the end. Hopefully he maintains his composure better at future meetings.

A few people left, as the meeting was nearing the one-hour mark. They checked to make sure the SGA still had core-um. 27 people were necessary and 29 were present. They eventually voted to reform the election committee.

If you're a Concord University student, you'll probably see more information out about the new election for VP soon.

I understand wanting to make sure the students have their voice heard, but really, the easy thing to do here is right after Chelsey Rowe is sworn in is to appoint Andrew Miller as VP (if he still wants it). I don't see any controversy with it; it's not like she's appointing one of her sorority sisters or doing something behind the students' backs over the summer (aka the "Maxwell Clause"). But, they've already decided on their course of action.

That was it for the meeting. My overall thought is that they should have been having meetings like this all academic year. "Back in my day," a meeting was considered a failure if it didn't last an hour. Now, it seems like torture to get them to stretch things out to half an hour. The 04-23-13 meeting of the SGA was important. If more meetings were viewed as important, then that annoying southern girl wouldn't have tried to get a mass exit started.

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.

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1 comment:

  1. I fail at life and just read this. My glance during the expungment policy had nothing to do with my year off...there is nothing on my record. I feel like you implied that. :(

    ReplyDelete