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Photo Illustration by Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Proposed Bill stirs controversial conversation in SGA

Written by Bryce Ethridge, Asst. Entertainment Editor

Senator Silas David returned from his hiatus Monday to propose a bill with the potential to change the way SGA operates.

“I felt like this bill needed to be presented and I’m ready to get back to work,” David said.

David proposed the “Good March” bill which would cause a temporary prohibition of the law that states that candidates for presidency and vice presidency must attend eight meetings of be a part of SGA for a year.

“This bill was needed because, as you know, the immediate implementation of this rule (the conditions to become president) would be unfair to people who had a prior interest in running for those positions,” David said. “I don’t think that’s right. If we were to do something like that it would call into question our judgement and invoke ideas as to if we’re corrupt or not.”

As David continued to explain the bill, senators from around the room said they felt he was underhandedly slandering other senators.

David reiterated that the rule was meant to give a fair chance to others who may have attended seven instead of eight meetings, but also has the ample understanding of the position they are running for.

“I’m not open to lowering or getting rid of any standards,” he said. “I’m not trying to repeal the rule itself but actually just put a moratorium or temporary suspension so that we can increase the candidate pool.”

As the floor opened up for discussion, Senator Nia Phillips agreed with some of David’s bill but refuted it with a counter-argument.

“I don’t like the idea of someone who doesn’t see how we work and what we do,” Phillips said. “SGA is not like any other organization. You can’t compare it to others because we do a lot.”

Senator Aisha Johnson questioned his proposal by saying that he and the other senators already approved the conditions when they first went about making the constitution.

“Before our previous constitution, there was nothing stating a requirement, but we made a requirement,” Johnson said.

After a heated discussion between Johnson and David, Phillips calmed the room down before SGA President Maya Mapp chimed in.

Mapp said she believed the bill to be fair and that it was brought up a respectful manner.

“He (Senator David) told me that he was going to bring this up and that this is nothing that is pointed towards you,” Mapp said. “I respect that because at the end of the day it’s not about me, it’s about the position and who will be the best candidate to serve the student body.”

Asked if any person from campus could become president, Mapp said she believes any one is able to become president or vice president.

“Under the constitution and bylaws any student is eligible to run for any of these positions and I would encourage that,” Mapp said. “Regardless of if I re-run or not, I want the student body to be represented fair, equally, and to the best of anyone’s ability. I just want the position to be used effectively.”

After a long discussion, SGA took a vote via secret ballot which ended in the majority ruling against the bill thus not passing it.

Mapp challenged the senators to find three organizations to have SGA members at their meetings to show their participation in the student community.

Mapp said that she wanted all individual senators to go to three different organizations and ask them to sit at their meetings in order to give feedback. Mapp said that this will show more involvement of the separate committees in getting to know student organizations.

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