Late SGA meeting gets business done, frustrates speaker

Despite the midnight hour, the Livak Ballroom of the Davis Center was brightly lit and full of commotion last Tuesday night.The SGA met for their last business meeting of the year Tuesday, James “Jay” Taylor, the newly-elected SGA president said.Josh Miller, the newly-elected vice president said that he had never seen a meeting so big and so long before in his three years on SGA.During the meeting, nine resolutions were brought forth from four different committees, (all except Finance, Student Activities and Public Relations), outgoing SGA President Kesha Ram said six of them were approved by the Senate.Alone, the Student Action Committee, of which Taylor is the chair, set forth three resolutions regarding the meal plan structure, opening paths around Athletic Campus and a lounge space audit, Taylor said.”The most important part of the [lounge space audit] resolution was asking organizations if they could potentially use other space outside the Davis Center so that other students may use the space for studying and meeting with their peers,” Ram said.In addition, the Senate reviewed the changes made to the SGA Constitution by the Constitution Committee over the past few months and discussed amendments they felt needed to be made, she said.One of the most important changes made to the Constitution was the addition of two senators, one on-campus and one off-campus, Miller said.The role of the vice president was also changed to include the responsibility of office operations, Ram said.”[The amendment] was a major highlight for me,” outgoing vice president DaVaughn Vincent-Bryan said.Michael Glynne, the Speaker of the House, was head of the Constitution Committee, which was composed of one member from each of the seven senatorial committees.”I think the speaker tried to make the changes more dynamic, but didn’t have enough command over the process,” Ram said. She also said that this may have been one of the reasons that the meeting ran so late.Glynne said that a challenging factor of the night was the fact that only 10 of the 40 senators were active participants in the debating process.”It’s frustrating that half of the people didn’t say anything, but were rolling their eyes and passing notes like they didn’t care,” he said, “It was hard to hold my composure at times too; it’s not like I wanted to be there for five hours.”Students who are not involved in SGA can also have a say in the Constitution and other legislation through referendums, which are the most unused part of the Constitution, Ram said.Any student who gets 10 percent of the student body to sign a petition can bring it to the president of SGA, who must then schedule a hearing and take action on the issue, she said.”The Student Government is the voice to the administration for students and students know they can hold us accountable for any issue we’re not adequately addressing,” Ram said.This week’s meeting will be the final farewells of graduating members of the Senate, and the inauguration of Taylor and Miller into their new positions.The nominees for a new speaker will also be announced, Ram said.The ceremony will take place in Marsh Lounge in Billings on Tuesday at 7 p.m., and anyone is welcome to attend, she said.