While senators from USD’s Student Government Association showcased their Halloween costumes, they also had the opportunity to discuss 10 bills and three resolutions at their weekly meeting on Tuesday night.
Debra Robertson, coordinator of the student counseling center and the planned special guest for this meeting, was unable to attend. Josh Sorbe, SGA president, said the Senate is hoping to see Robertson at next week’s meeting.
“I hope we can get her here next week,” Sorbe said. “She’ll have a lot of insight into a lot of students concerns with the counseling center.”
Of the 10 bills, two bills were voted on. Senate Bill 76 failed and Senate Bill 77 passed. Senate Bill 76 proposed date changes for the SGA election. Since this bill failed, the election will remain on the Tuesday and Wednesday instead of the Monday and Tuesday of that week.
Senate Bill 77 changed a detail of SGA’s policies on student organization recognition. Prior to this bill passing, the finance committee was responsible for determining organizations recognition, however, this bill gave this authority to the student affairs committee.
The other bills discussed included Senate Bills 85 through 89, which were proposed by senator Matt Yetter. These bills will change the titles of executive members on SGA.
Specifically, Senate Bills 85-89 change the titles of the office manager to chief of staff, business manager to the chief financial officer and communication manager to director of communications.
“The reason why I put forth these series of bills is that I feel the current names do not accurately reflect the scope of the individuals who occupy those positions do,” Yetter said.
Yetter said these name changes will help clarify exactly what the roles executive positions entail.
“I think these names changes will better benefit senate as well as the student body because it better clarifies the roles that these individuals do and it speaks better to the roles that they carry,” Yetter said.
Amber Hulse said she thinks the title changes will be beneficial to future executive members when it comes to creating their own resumes.
“It sucks to be the office manager and put that on your resume and say I do all the things that I do and get the title of office manager,” Hulse said. “I don’t know if the chief of staff is the right name either, but the office manager isn’t a nice shiny title for all the work that I do. I don’t mean to say that to sound full of myself, I just feel bad for the people that have to be the office manager and then go to a job interview and say ‘I was on the executive staff of SGA.’”
Bills 85-89 will hear their third and final reading and be voted on next week.
Sorbe said the last four months of this Senate are crucial to see changes, but it is up to Senate what bills are proposed and what issues are addressed.
SGA is mandated to address a new strategic plan, present the 2018 SGA budget and advocate for students during the legislative session.
“It’s really up to SGA senators what we do the last few months,” Sorbe said. “The only thing that we are mandated to do is draft a new strategic plan which is very exciting because we get to determine what we want SGA to look like in five years. Other than that it really just presents what bills are present, I really hope we get to talk about some student fair issues that really affect students.”
Sorbe said his first eight months as president has been incredibly rewarding, and he looks forward to continuing advocating in his remaining months as president.
“I am really looking forward to the legislative session and advocating on behalf of USD students in Pierre and advocating for higher education day in Pierre,” Sorbe said. “I think getting involved with your legislative and advocating for what’s best for university students is one of the best civic engagement processes you could ever do.”