James Schwer, a Student Government Association (SGA) senator meets with his caucus Sept. 4, 2019, at the SGA meeting held at David Letterman Communication and Media Building. Schwer was one of the SGA senators who opposed the abstention resolution which was passed at the meeting. John Lynch, DN
SGA passes resolution preventing senators from abstaining without reason
A resolution to end abstentions from votes in the senate without a stated reason was passed at the Student Government Association (SGA) meeting Wednesday held in the David Letterman Communication and Media Building in room 125, since their normal meeting spot at the L. A. Pittenger Student Center was occupied for sorority recruitment.
Some senators who debated the resolution included senators Isaac Mitchell, one of the authors of the resolution, and James Schwer, who opposed it.
“The idea of [the resolution] is that people will be compelled to do more research on bills,” Mitchell said. “So, they’re gonna have to take a public stance or hopefully have to take a public stance on all votes, because I believe that’s your responsibility as a senator.”
Schwer spoke against the resolution before the vote, citing his representation of the University Program Board as a reason abstention votes without an explanation should not be removed.
After the vote, he said he does not represent his organization’s views on certain matters and that he “[tries] to abstain from representing [the University Program Board] one way or another.”
The resolution passed, 22-8 with three abstentions.
Following the vote, Mitchell said he thought other senators may have opposed the resolution because deciding on a public stance as a senator can be “a scary concept”.
“That can be daunting, but I think that that’s just a responsibility that you take on when you take on a role like being an SGA senator,” Mitchell said.
The senate also voted on a resolution on adding markings to all of Ball State’s trash and recycling bins to denote which materials correspond with which bin was approved.
Prior to the votes on resolutions, the senate was briefed by senators Elizabeth Latham and Miryam Bevelle at the beginning of the meeting on their experience at the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Student Government East Institute event in Norfolk, Virginia, which took place from July 11 to 14.
At the event, Ball State SGA members were able to connect with other universities' SGAs, attended educational sessions on student government, and shared ideas with other SGA organizations.
Following the presentation, the SGA voted on approving its new archivist, with Caroline Koby being approved by unanimous vote.
Koby explained the job of an SGA archivist as the “keeper of box” who makes sure all the SGA files and documents are organized in a comprehensive way.