On Wednesday, Oct. 20, Ball State’s Student Government Association (SGA) met for its second meeting of the month, where senators voted on two amendments, were introduced to one more and SGA President Tina Nguyen gave her first “State of the Senate” address of the year.
‘State of the Senate’
Nguyen began the address by referencing the “unique platform” on which Strive has ran since the beginning of the slate’s successful bid for the executive board in February.
“Instead of doing platform points, we focused on [four] focuses: engage, encourage, educate and strive,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen updated senators on Strive’s housing agenda, and said, despite the executive slate reaching out to Housing and Residence Life multiple times, they have not heard responses from Park, Studebaker East and Woodworth residence halls.
Nguyen said she hopes the residence halls will respond to the slate’s inquiries and meet with Chief Administrator Nina Burton to establish a working relationship with the slate and the halls.
Nguyen later said a proposal has already been drafted to distribute free feminine hygiene products around these halls, continuing an initiative from the previous Bold slate.
Nguyen praised the work of Treasurer Jacob Bartolotta in both increasing awareness of student government around campus and taking note of what Ball State students want from student government.
Nguyen singled out the slate’s strong relationship with Dining Services, thanking Vice President Chiara Biddle for helping to establish a Dining Student Advisory Board with Karen Atkins, senior director for auxiliary services, who — in addition to establishing the advisory board — is partnering with SGA for a “reduce” campaign that aims to reduce waste on campus.
Nguyen also noted that more than 100 people attended the Diversity Deep Dive on Oct. 6, which “built great connections with the Big Four advocacy groups” — Black Student Association, Latinx Student Union, Asian-American Student Association and Spectrum.
“Thank you again for working with us throughout the time of [COVID-19],” Nguyen said. “I know this is very unique timing, and not everyone knows what they’re doing, but thank you for holding on with us.”
Theta Chi Returns
Representatives from the Theta Chi fraternity were also present at Wednesday’s meeting, discussing the values of the fraternity, which is the newest addition to Ball State’s Fraternity and Sorority Life.
The representatives discussed the new chapter’s pledge program, which takes place over eight weeks and is known as the Resolute Journey.
“They learn about Theta Chi, the history and do a lot of activities and philanthropy,” Theta Chi Representative Cody Pawn said.
Once pledged into the fraternity, new members can complete a program called the Resolute Man Program, in which fraternity members can take three tracks: an individual track in which they keep records of their campus experiences, an event track in which fifty to sixty men participate in group activities and an experience track in which “you can apply to meet with alumni across the country, go to their place of work and learn about a potential career.”
In 2018, Theta Chi had its charter revoked due to “alcohol policy violations, hazing and other deviations from the expectations of Theta Chi Fraternity and Ball State University," according to a previous Daily News article.
Senator Brenna Large said she had “heard a lot of students who are upset about Theta Chi’s return to campus,” with representative Brian Allec replying by asking that anyone with concerns reach out to Theta Chi.
“I understand where they’re coming from and I want to show them that this new group of guys can be exactly what this campus needs,” he said.
The amendments discussed at last week’s meeting were voted on Oct. 20.
One amendment included giving the Residence Hall Association (RHA) liaison a vote in senate meetings.
At-Large Senator Noah Clark asked if giving the RHA liaison a vote was necessary.
“Senators that come from their residence hall should be [the senate’s] point into the residence halls,” calling the amendment an “extra bridge that may not be necessary,” Clark said.
The amendment passed 34-0, with two abstentions.
The other amendment proposed the addition of a vice secretary position to all committees and caucuses. Sentiments from last week’s meeting were echoed, with some senators believing the amendment is unnecessary, considering the relative simplicity of the role of the secretary.
The amendment failed 16-21, with one abstention.
“I really do wish more of my colleagues could have seen the benefit of the amendment, but I do plan on retooling it and reintroducing it,” said Grant Wilson, senator and author of the amendment.
In addition to these two amendments, one new one was brought before the senate, titled “Updating the Authority of the Rules and Constitution Committee.” The amendment aims to give the Rules and Constitution Committee authority to review all resolutions, orders and bills. In the event that the committee finds the legislation legally objectionable, it could either be sent back to the authors for reworking or tabled indefinitely.
“The issue of legality has come up several times over the past couple years with Senate Resolutions and Orders,” the amendment reads. “Potential future issues with legality could be resolved before a piece of legislation makes its way to the floor if the pieces are reviewed by the Rules and Constitution Committee.”
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