SGA launches House of Representatives

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Before the election results are announced for the next round of SGA members to transition into their seats on May 1, the current members were able to pass one visible resolution: the creation of the House of Representatives.

The House has been a work in progress for eight months, according to Daquan Williams, SGA president. The resolution, which passed on March 30, was for a final outline of a 36-member house that would allow for three representatives from each college on each campus. In addition, there will be an appointed Speaker of the House.

The resolution goes into effect immediately and members will be appointed similar to the way senators are appointed during the offseason of the election cycle, on a volunteer basis for a one-year term. Members will be able to vote in a limited scope, according to Dustin Thibideau, CHESS senator in Hammond and vice president-elect.

Resolutions will have to pass through both the House and the Senate starting in the fall, but the House will not be able to vote on appointments for chief of staff or chief financial officer. The House will also not be able to vote on senate appointments, but will be able to for president and vice president. The Senate will be able to bypass the House if it does
not have five official members and a speaker or if no one shows up to meetings and votes in the timeframe given.

Thibideau said the House of Representatives will be created with the notion that it is for students who want to participate in SGA, but cannot commit to the responsibilities of the senator position.

Williams said that while the organization did not accomplish as much as the members had hoped for this year, it did more than in previous years.

In the 2016-17 academic year, SGA completed the structure for a unified organization between the two campuses and passed a resolution to implement crosswalks on the Westville campus, which was later university approved. The crosswalks are slated to be installed this summer.

Williams admitted that most of the organization’s work has been internal, so the organization’s work sometimes goes unseen.

“It usually depends on who you ask. For people who actually know who we are and what we’re about, they’re aware that everything is a step-by-step process that could potentially lead to something good,” Williams said. “If someone doesn’t know about us, they’re probably in the dark a tad bit, but we’re available all the time to enlighten people.”