SGA parliamentarian amendment fails

<p>Ball State Student Government Association senators look over and debate the amendment regarding the parliamentarian&#x27;s duties at the Nov. 11 Zoom meeting. The amendment would allow the parliamentarian to draft amendments, but failed 26-4, with 11 abstentions. <strong>Maya Wilkins, Screenshot Capture</strong></p>

Ball State Student Government Association senators look over and debate the amendment regarding the parliamentarian's duties at the Nov. 11 Zoom meeting. The amendment would allow the parliamentarian to draft amendments, but failed 26-4, with 11 abstentions. Maya Wilkins, Screenshot Capture

On Nov. 11, Ball State Student Government Association (SGA) voted against the amendment about increasing the parliamentarian’s duties, presented at the Nov. 4 meeting.

RELATED: Ball State SGA passes budget request, presents amendment

If passed, the amendment would have allowed the parliamentarian to draft their own amendments to be presented to the senate, a duty they don’t have because they review the validity of each amendment before it is presented.

This caused a debate among senators, mostly about if this oversteps the parliamentarian’s duties because they review each amendment before it is presented.

“It’s not like the parliamentarian can’t ever talk to the senators, because I’ve had conversations with [Chase Braden] when I had to write the new standing rules,” said senator Trent McKenzie, “He’s really open to talking with everyone, but I just really feel that it needs to remain with the senators as the people who have the responsibilities to make these changes.”

Senator James Wells agreed with McKenzie and said that if the parliamentarian were to draft amendments, the senate would default to passing the amendment because of their position.

Senator Miryam Bevelle disagreed with Wells, saying this amendment would not put the parliamentarian ahead of the senators, and the parliamentarian's amendments would have to go through the same approval process as those written by senators. Bevelle also said that SGA is essentially allowing the parliamentarian to draft amendments now, just unofficially because they are working with senators.

“I don’t think we’re opening Pandora’s box by doing this. I think we’ll just be more accurately reflecting what’s previously been done in our bylaws,” Bevelle said.

The amendment failed 26-4, with 11 abstentions. 27 votes were needed for it to pass.

SGA also was presented with two new senator applicants, as well as a potential elections board commissioner.

Joseph Gassensmith, freshman architecture major, is a member of the Honors College, as well as his residence hall council and Greek life. He plans on focusing on environmental affairs, working to implement more green alternatives to building design around campus.

Gassensmith was admitted into the senate with a vote of 40-0, with one abstention.

The senators also heard from Conor Dailey, sophomore music and environmental stewardship double major. Dailey is also a member of the Honors College and serves as the Residence Hall Association activities director. 

Dailey was admitted into the senate with a vote of 36-0, with five abstentions.

The senate also heard from Parker Abrell, who was looking to become SGA’s elections board commissioner. Abrell is a sophomore political science and English double major, as well as a member of the Honors College. He said he has no connections to SGA this year, so there would be no ethical dilemmas. 

Abrell was admitted as the elections board commissioner with a vote of 35-0, with six abstentions.

SGA planned to have their meeting on Nov. 18 in person, but has since decided to host it over Zoom.

Contact Maya Wilkins with comments at mrwilkins@bsu.edu or on Twitter @mayawilkinss.

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