SGA senate format changes take place fall 2014

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Nicole Caporaso

During the spring semester, Appalachian State University’s Student Government Association will begin to work on changes to the senate after an amendment to SGA’s constitution.

The constitution was amended in spring 2013 and will restructure the senate’s format, however all changes will not be in effect until fall 2014.

Graphic by Ashley Spencer  |  The Appalachian
Graphic by Ashley Spencer | The Appalachian

“ASU students will be able to vote for a variety of senators and also for senators who represent them even more,” said Eric Barnes, SGA vice president of the 2012-13 year. “They’ll be able to vote for anyone in their class, college, and organization they are a part of.”

The last change to the structure of the senate took place more than 40 years ago.

The SGA senate is currently divided by on-campus and off-campus representation. The 80 senate seats will now be divided among categories including academic class, academic college and various clubs and organizations that work with SGA.

SGA Secretary Dana Clarke said the biggest change would be in how the senate seats will be divided.

“By providing diverse senate seats, we expect to have a greater voice from the students of Appalachian, and therefore will be able to write more relevant legislation that will better the future for students,” Clarke said.

During the course of the current semester elections for a portion of the restructured seats will be taking place, but those elected will not be sworn in until fall 2014. There will be another election process for the rest of the senators in the fall for seats that are not filled.

“Our school has changed drastically where only 40 percent of students live on campus, no longer making sense that freshman and sophomores who mostly reside in the residence halls, bare the weight of representing the student population,” Barnes said.

Barnes said these changes would not affect how SGA spends money or how it is funded and can only hope to increase the senate’s productivity.

“I do not believe this change would decrease senate productivity, but only increase it,” he said. “The reason so is that with more representation, you have more voices that weren’t heard before and hopefully more innovative ideas to improve ASU and give what the students want.”

Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter
Graphic: Ashley Spencer, Senior Graphic Designer