SGA approves language for senate restructuring

Joshua Farmer

Appalachian State’s Student Government Association voted unanimously in favor of the wording of the senate-restructuring referendum Tuesday.

Cone Residence Hall representative Nick Smith presented the bill to the senate.

“The second bill was necessary because recently the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership has revised what categories make up the [Student Development Record],” Smith said. “We just had to change it so that the referendum was up to date.”

The student body will be able to vote on these changes starting March 4.

“The SDR was developed to provide statistical information regarding student involvement, provide useful services to student organizations, and provide students with a chronology of their involvement,” according to the CSIL website. “A record is created for each student involved in a recognized student organization, employed at the university, participating in athletics, receiving a scholarship, or awarded academic honors.”

The current structure allows 40 on-campus representatives to represent about 6,000 students while 39 senators represent nearly 10,000 off-campus students, Smith said.

“It’s an imbalance in representation, and the off-campus residents are being represented in a less-than-equal way,” Smith said.

Smith said SGA wanted to restructure the representation to be done by academic class, but found that there would be too many populations overlooked.

Smith said that while SGA does need to represent every student on campus, the groups that provided services to several students shouldn’t have their voices lessened.

If approved by the student body, the referendum will change the senate structure to be comprised of senators representing students by academic class, academic college and SDR classification.

The academic college representation would help upperclassmen have more direct representation.

“We couldn’t find the perfect system,” Smith said. “This is the closest we get.”

During the meeting, Director of Campus Outreach Tommy Wrenn raised a concern that some groups, like the Multicultural Center, would be underrepresented.

The groups that fall within the multicultural SDR category will only have two senate seats to campaign for.

“If one seat is filled by the Black Student Association and another is filled by the Hispanic Student Association, you’re still missing such a large number of these multicultural groups,” Wrenn said.
“My argument is not that every multicultural organization needs a spot, but there are these organizations that may not have a significant number of students within their population on our campus, but they are still just as important as any other student. The fact is that these multicultural organizations are very unique in who they represent.”

Story: JOSHUA FARMER, News Editor