USD Athletics Director David Herbster and Deputy AD Mike West spoke at Tuesday’s Student Government Association meeting to talk about football tickets.
West and Herbster discussed aloud whether or not they want to bring back Ticket Tuesday. Students last year picked up football tickets from a member of USD athletics , who would give tickets away in the MUC on Tuesdays prior to home football games.
Herbster and West noted that attendance at football games had dropped.
“Even in the first three games, this year, are smaller than the smallest attended game last year,” Herbster said.
Herbster and West discussed with SGA how students are concerned they aren’t able to get into the football games. They considered switching back to a system of physical tickets, but West raised a concern about physical tickets. If a student picks up a physical ticket, but then decides to not go to the game, then that seat will be empty.
“We have 730 tickets available,” West said. “I think one of the problems is that a lot of the students don’t think they can get in.”
West took the blame for poor communication prior to the game.
“I went to tailgate like ten minutes before the game and they had already put the sound system away,” West said. “I was going to announce that we had 250 tickets left at that point, and I didn’t get out there in time, and I think that we can do a better job of working with student services… to get that information out there.”
Herbster said that there were almost 1,800 students at the Dakota Days game last year, compared to 680 students at the D-Days game this year.
While athletics decides how to handle the ticket situation, SGA is planning a campus safety walk.
SGA President Carson Zubke said this is an annual event and it’s open to all students.
“It’s just something we do to pick out any potential weaknesses we have on-campus,” Zubke said. “It’s not that we feel campus isn’t a safe place. It’s just we’re always looking for ways to make it more safe and more comfortable for students.”
The event is open to all students. The event is set for Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. outside of the Davidson Building.
At the end of the meeting, SGA once again discussed the issue of senators not reading bills.
Zubke has no way of knowing who is and who is not reading the legislation.
“It is concerning,” Zubke said. “You always just kind of hope that, through the election process, and through the at-large process… they’re all being chosen or elected to be respectful representatives of students.”
After the SGA meeting, senator Carissa Occhipinto met with Kyle Ireland, Macy Halverson, Deborah Ahbeniyi and Logan Johnson to discuss this bill. Occhipinto sponsored Senate Bill 76, which would require SGA senators to read certain bills aloud at SGA meetings. During the discussion, Occhipinto became visibly upset. At 8:00, she walked out of the meeting and did not return. Ireland, Halverson, Ahbeniyi and Johnson declined to comment on the situation.
Later that night, after The Volante had sent to print, Occhipinto sent an official statement to the Volante regarding the matter.
The following is Occhipinto’s statement:
I am the sponsor of Senate Bill 76, which would require that every piece of legislation brought to SGA would be read, out loud, at least once to the entire senate, as well as the audience in attendance and online, unless waived by a unanimous vote. Currently, the by-laws only require a majority vote to waive a reading of any and all legislation. What this entails, and what we have witnessed, is that many pieces of legislation are never read during meeting. Readings are simply waived and legislation is then voted on. I believe that Senate Bill 76 could serve as a mechanism for senators to fill the role we are elected to serve – if we aren’t reading legislation aloud, as it is written, at least once before it is voted on, we are not doing our jobs. Yes, depending on the length of legislation, this can be tedious, but it is a process that is vital to making SGA a vehicle to help the student body. We must understand the severity of choosing to pass or fail a piece of legislation. How are we supposed to do so if we don’t even know the exact details about what we are voting on? Although it is expected that senators come to meeting having read the legislation, it isn’t always the case that they do. It was my goal that, at the very least, Senate Bill 76 would start a conversation on how we should be conducting SGA business. After only one meeting of discussion, Internal Review already sought to kill the bill. Only after another round of discussion during meeting tonight did they consider amending the bill, but when they met later, I attended as well to discuss amendments, as was indicated during meeting. No such discussion took place. Instead, the committee said that it would be better to kill the bill and start over. Each committee on SGA is tasked with reviewing legislation that is being considered – in our own bylaws it explicitly states that the Internal Review Committee “is responsible for the official review of any amendments to the SGA Constitution or By-Laws.” Our Constitution further explains that it is the prerogative of any committee, including Internal Review, to “make amendments to the legislation” and then “make a recommendation to the SGA Senate before it is considered for a vote.” This, to me, is the beauty of Student Government Association – it should allow us to act collaboratively to benefit students. Instead of working together or offering amendments or modifications, the committee dismissed not only my help but also the bill in its entirety, instead telling me that “scratching” the bill was the best option. This was frustrating to hear because I don’t understand what the issue is – regardless of my intent when authoring this bill, other senators have pointed out other key benefits this would bring -namely allowing those following along in the audience and at home to understand what legislation is being discussed as well. By working together, we could have created something we all agreed with. Yet, I was told that it was not the committee’s job to “fix legislation” or even offer amendments. Instead, I was accused of writing legislation for personal benefit. That is why I stormed out: I am tired of SGA being for the students in name only – it is time that we finally start doing our jobs.