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SGA opens school year: Passes transparency measures, officer term reforms

The Student Government Association (SGA) opened the new semester Sunday with its first meeting of the fall. The SGA has made early efforts to become more transparent to the student body.

The SGA passed its first resolution of the semester, amending the bylaws to require the internal vice president to host a public forum at least once a month while school is in session.

The resolution reads, “The forums will be open to all students and be held in a public location on campus. The internal vice president shall ensure that all members of the Student Government Association attend at least one forum per semester.”

Internal Vice President Dane Vincent, along with Student Trustee Jamaal Hollins, Treasurer Josh Eastby, Secretary Samia Ahmad and former student trustee John Tienken, initially introduced the resolution. President Aaron Mulvey signed the resolution at Sunday’s meeting, and believes this is what SGA needs to build a better relationship with the student body. Mulvey was a participant in last year’s Welcome Week town hall meetings and supports the decision for monthly meetings whole heartedly.

“We want the input from the students, because ultimately it’s what we’re here to do,” he said.

Those who introduced the resolution cited the scarcity of public meetings as reason enough to amend the bylaws, and believe the monthly meetings will provide a channel for the student body to openly and effectively reach out to SGA throughout the year.

The initial town hall meting was held in the Public Affairs Center Auditorium lobby Monday night. Students gathered to enjoy a free meal and mingle with SGA members. Mulvey briefly discussed new projects for the summer like the Student Union, mascot name change and elections, before offering the group of about 50 students free pizza and pop.

SGA members wasted no time in introducing new resolutions Sunday. External Vice President Riley J. Quinlan along with other members introduced a resolution to eliminate term requirements for candidates seeking the vice president and president positions.

With this new resolution, students wishing to run must have at least 12 hours of undergraduate credit, or eight hours of graduate credit at UIS, and have been enrolled at the school for two semesters.

The resolution urged for a more open SGA and said, “…students not currently serving on the Student Government Association nonetheless can contribute much of value to the work of the student body, especially regarding the opinions and needs of typically under represented segments of the student body.”

Proponents of the resolution also said the current eligibility requirements limit the potential pool of candidates to choose from.

Vincent, along with Kyle Noland also introduced another resolution to grammatically edit both the SGA bylaws and the SGA constitution.

For the rest of the semester, Mulvey hopes to tackle a number of issues on campus, and he and other members of the SGA met during the summer to discuss these issues and bring up new ones.

He said last year students told him the reason they couldn’t make the events help on campus was due to transportation conflicts. Mulvey said he and the rest of the SGA are working to rectify this.

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