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SGA administration list goals

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The SGA administration will have three priorities for this academic year: reviewing the bookstore contract, discussing implications of unification and creating a foundation for the House of Representatives, according to Dustin Thibideau, SGA vice president.

Reviewing the bookstore contract to gain cheaper access codes is the campaign platform that Riley Owens, SGA president, and Thibideau ran on. Following a public records request in May, Thibideau learned that there are four remaining years on the contract before any negotiations can be made.

“There won’t be much that the next few administrations will be able to do, but we want to see if there’s a loophole in there,” Thibideau said.

Members of SGA gained access to the college mailing lists during the summer and will be surveying students to find out their thoughts on unification and to see if there are any changes they feel should be enacted.

“Obviously [unification] is a still-talked about a topic; it’s being brought up at Faculty Senate and being brought up here so it’s still a big deal to students,” Thibideau said.

Last year SGA focused on passing the House of Representatives, which will now be starting its first year with about 25-30 students interested in applying, according to Thibideau.

“This semester is going to be mostly about getting the people in and getting the foundation set. Next semester hopefully we can actually get the ball really rolling with it,” Thibideau said.

Zachary Jakubowski, former SGA president and current Speaker of the House, hopes that the House will be able to get more students involved in SGA, provide additional insight to the Senate and be able to address smaller issues the Senate may not have noticed.

“I would also like to open back up the SGA Student Safety Initiative and see if we can recommend some key safety and accessibility upgrades for both campuses, along with anything else students would want us to pursue,” Zakubowski said.

Two students have also applied for the Senate and their applications are in review.

Owens and Thibideau recognized that one year is a short timeline to make an impact on the university. Owens said he hopes the setup of the House will allow for members to continue in SGA for multiple years, by eventually moving to the Senate and being able to create changes.

PAST BILLS
Following discussion on the two resolutions that SGA passed last year, Active Shooter Video Requirement Act and Mandatory Grade Posting Act, Faculty Senate will vote on each at the Sept. 14 meeting.

Owens said they expect the Active Shooter Video Requirement Act will pass. According to Owens, the bill allows individual colleges to decide what class the active shooter video will be shown in.
The Mandatory Grade Posting Act has been revised by the Faculty Senate since it was passed to remove the portion that stated professors had to update Blackboard monthly. The current version reads that professors should update grades regularly, but does not specify how frequently that is considered to be. Owens said their intention to hold professors accountable at grade appeals is still held in the current version, but that the part needed to be removed because not all classes are equivalently structured.

“It’s not what we wanted, but you can understand it because from the standpoint of the professors it’s not always beneficial to [update monthly],” Owens said.

ELECTION REFORM
The elections committee will also be working this year to research past elections and possible mishaps, Matthew Ruiz, member of the committee and CHESS senator for the Hammond campus, said.

“It’s a necessity for the leadership of the student body to follow the ideals it sets forth,” Ruiz said. “Following past election cycles, there is an issue of how we lead the student body and I would like to see it changed.”

The committee will be going through past newspaper coverage of SGA elections and internally going through their own election records and results.

Additionally, the members will use an independent body of two students per campus to review previous SGA elections and give recommendations on changes to be made.
A major overhaul of the elections packet will also be a focus of the committee following the confusion regarding which version to use and the terminology in the packet during last year’s election.

Hunter Saporiti, managing editor, contributed reporting.

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