Ball State’s Student Government Association (SGA) focused on student representation in its meeting Wednesday, March 16.
An amendment that proposed to create a separate board, the Appeals Board, to consider the appeals of organizations and residence halls that lost seats in the student senate failed 10-20 with seven abstentions.
Sen. Brenna Large authored the amendment with the hope to allow representatives to have more opportunities to join, instead of waiting for the end of an academic year to join.
Before voting, many senators voiced their concerns on the amendment.
One of Sen. Kyle Wickizer's concerns was the potential loss of representation that would happen if the amendment passed. Wickizer, a new senator on the On-Campus Caucus, felt the amendment proposed unnecessary steps and it would take “some of the power from the hall councils and organizations to gain membership.”
“For [the On-Campus Caucus], we are for the hall councils, and we are appointed by those groups to represent and with having a separate board for it did feel like extra steps, more unnecessary work,” Wickizer said.
Wickizer said many other senators in the On-Campus Caucus agreed with him.
A senate resolution for the "Establishment of Gender Inclusive Bathrooms in Every Building on Campus" was tabled, meaning senators will consider voting on it later after potential changes to the legislation. If passed, this resolution will go to the Ball State University Senate for review.
SGA President Tina Nguyen said a University Senate administrator emailed her the night of March 15 with concerns over the accuracy of the resolution’s contents. She said the administrator specifically cited inaccurate information regarding the locations of existing gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus, among other criticisms.
Nguyen also said she worried the resolution would be “ripped apart” in the University Senate if information regarding the locations of gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus were not properly revised and corrected.
“The reason for tabling [the resolution] was to give it a better fighting chance within the University Senate,” Sen. Cody York, one of the authors of the resolution, said. “This is not only a very important resolution for me but for the community that I represent.”
The purpose of the resolution is to add bathrooms to all buildings on campus that are inclusive of all genders and sexual identities.
“Everyone [should] feel welcomed here at Ball State University,” York said. “Our Beneficence Pledge [basically] says just be a civil human being to everyone and treat everyone equally. That’s what this bill is trying to do — make everything equitable for everyone.”
Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) was given a seat in the Organizational Caucus. Sam Schlatter, the representative for YDSA, said YDSA members advocate for student workers and other marginalized students. They hope to bring YDSA’s ideals into the senate.
Schlatter was voted in 32-0 with four abstentions.
Senators voted on the amendments about changing SGA’s mask policy, fully removing the archivist and establishing the Retention and Recruitment Committee.
The mask amendment proposed to follow Ball State’s current mask policy that was changed March 4. The amendment passed with a two-thirds majority.
The senate voted 35-0 with one abstention to remove archivist language in SGA's constitution because the position no longer exists.
The senate also voted 33-2 with one abstention to establish the Retention and Recruitment Committee as an additional committee in SGA.
The amendment proposed the parliamentarian would pick five more additional senators to be added to the committee regardless of their caucus, along with the current rule the parliamentarian picks senators from each caucus to serve on the committee. This would give the committee ten members in total.
This amendment will be voted on in the next meeting, March 23.