Student Goverment Association passes two bills, swears in student ambassadors

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The St. Edward’s University Student Government Association (SGA) held its second formal Senate meeting of the semester on Thursday, Sept. 18.

Acting as the elected liaison between students and the administration, SGA meets four times a month — twice formally and twice informally — to discuss legislative proposals seeking to improve “campus safety, school spirit and traditions, and any other changes students want to see happen on campus,” Chief of Staff Michael Cimino said.

During this Thursday’s formal meeting, three new student ambassadors were officially sworn in to their selected positions. Each student represents one of the five schools and was nominated by the Dean of their respective schools.

Adam King is the ambassador for the School of Natural Sciences. Emily Ott is the ambassador for the School of Humanities. Jack Henry Sanders is the ambassador for the Munday School of Business.

The student ambassadors for the School of Education and the School of Behavioral & Social Sciences were sworn in at the previous formal meeting.

These student ambassadors are part of a new SGA initiative, stemming from a bill passed during the 2013-2014 school year. The ambassadors were sworn in by President Pro Tempore Jonathan Edwards, who authored the ambassador initiative bill last year.

The new Associate Justice of Student Court of Appeals Natasha Zafar was also sworn in by Chief Justice Hiralys Alvarez during the meeting.

There is currently one vacant Senate position.

After community announcements were made, the senators debated several proposed bills, ultimately voting on two bills for final passage and five bills for first passage.

Vice President George Kuhle presented his “The Sound of Music” bill which proposes that a secured laptop be stationed in the Information Desk in Ragsdale Center where students can use to promote advertisements for clubs and events. Topper Radio would then collaborate with SGA to publicize these announcements on campus during the day.

“This is a new avenue for students’ voices to actually be heard. I feel it’s our duty, and SGA should fully fund this project,” Kuhle said.

The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Anna Hoskinson, went to final passage with seven senators voting in favor and one abstaining.

The “Parking Garage Posting Locations” bill, written by Aryn Acosta and sponsored by Sen. Michael Haywood, was voted for final passage with a unanimous yes from the eligible and present senators. It was authorized for first passage at the first formal meeting on Sept. 4.

The bill requires SGA to erect a billboard by the parking garage, so that commuter students will have better access to flyers and other information for campus events. The billboard will follow Student Life posting regulations.

With the recent reveal of the newly-designed St. Edward’s mascot, it seems only fitting that the university adopts an official goat to bring to school events.

In the past, a goat named Pax was brought to games as the unofficial mascot.

“Since Pax passed away, there has been no goat to officially represent SEU at activities,” Hoskinson said.

Fortunately, one of the St. Edward’s University Police Department officers has a baby goat and has offered to bring it to events such as Hillfest and the End-of-the-Year Party, as long as the kid is named the official school mascot.

With that offer on the table, the Senate unanimously passed the “Topper 2.0” resolution for first passage at last night’s meeting.

The bill will still need to be voted on for final passage in an upcoming formal Senate meeting.

The senators also voted unanimously in favor of the “Swing Low, Sweet Hammock” resolution for its first passage The resolution, which was written by Hoskinson and sponsored by Haywood, would require the SGA to fund the set up of poles around campus from which students could hang their own hammocks.

If this resolution makes it through final passage, it will not be the first time SGA has seen a bill like this.

Last year, former Sen. Andy Hirschfeld authored an almost identical bill that passed through both first and final passage. However, it was essentially lost in the anonymous aesthetics committee.

The “Recognizing the Students” resolution, written by Edwards and sponsored by Sen. Jacob Rogers, also unanimously passed first passage last night.

If it makes it through final passage, the bill would authorize Edwards to investigate and establish an annual scholarship that SGA would award to a qualified students who are not members of SGA. The bill states that the scholarships would be awarded to no more than 10 students, and each scholarship would be worth $200 to $300.

Senators also voted unanimously in favor of the “Field of Lights” resolution and “The Cup of Saints” resolution.

If it passes through final passage in a future formal meeting, Rogers’ “Field of Lights” bill will require SGA members to address adding more lighting around the sand volleyball courts outside of the Teresa Residence Hall.

“The Cup of Saints” resolution, written by Sen. Felicia Stevens will require SGA to collaborate with on-campus offices and St. Mary’s University in the creation of a physical trophy for the annual Battle of the Saints sporting events. Stevens’ bill also will needed to be authorized for final passage in an upcoming formal meeting.

The next formal Senate meeting will be held on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. in Mabee Ballroom A in the Ragsdale Center. SGA formal and informal senate meetings are open to the public.