Wednesday, the Ball State University Student Government Association (SGA) proposed two amendments, which if ratified, will have significant effects on university procedures.
The first amendment plans to update the senator application process, requiring any senator applicants to collect only two professor signatures or the senator role for their respective policy, removing the 50-student signature requirement in years past.
“There has been a significant decrease in senator applicants this legislative term,” SGA Vice President Monet Lindstrand said while reading the amendment. “Majority of potential applicants have halted the application process once they were made aware of the signature requirement.”
Co-authors and senators Brian Truell, Collegiate Caucus chair, and Dylan Teubert, Organizational Caucus chair, wrote this amendment, as Truell left the student signature requirement was too burdensome on students, resulting in fewer senator applications.
“A lot of new applicants when they look to join the senate, see that 50 signature requirement, and it can be kind of intimidating, especially if you have new freshman,” Truell said.
While Truell had no issue with limiting the number of student signatures required, previous years ultimately favored their decision in eliminating student signature requirements altogether.
“Part of that was the experience during COVID where we had no signature requirements, and we saw substantially more applicants because of that,” Truell said.
Truell’s motivation for writing this amendment was increasing student representation in SGA, desiring for more voices to be heard.
“The goal fundamentally is, the more people we can bring into senate, the more diverse perspectives that we can bring in,” Truell said.
Meanwhile, the second amendment proposes further clarification of standing committee responsibilities, which Lindstrand said while reading the amendment, are unclear and resulted in “responsibilities shifting to other committees.”
The amendment addresses solutions for standing committees, stating Governmental Relations “shall work with the Muncie Police Department (MPD),” and Student Safety “shall work with the University Police Department (UPD).”
Co-author and At-Large Caucus Sen. Casey Rockel explained why including both police departments and separating how they’re involved was a necessity for the amendment’s success.
“The Muncie Police Department is more government than the UPD is,” Rockel said.” We felt that UPD would be better with student safety because they are here to protect and serve just the university. While Muncie, like the Muncie mayor, they’re able to talk with the MPD.”
Rockel believed certification and specificity were necessary for the less experienced members of SGA, reducing the confusion about what each committee does.
“There was another amendment last semester where it didn’t say to work with the office of government regulations, and so it was kind of confusing for a lot of first-years on what exactly to do in their committees,” Rockel said.
Rockel believed the opportunities to work with the MPD and city council would grow from this amendment, as he said that it “gives the committee a bigger purpose” in regard to communication with off-campus legal departments.
Both of these amendments will be voted on ratification during the next meeting, on Nov.30.
SGA also had three budget requests proposed in the meeting.
On-Campus Caucus Chair Sen. Jackson Phenis asked for a budget of $36 for Studebaker West’s Hall Council. The council plans to use the money for an event where they will speak about SGA to their residents.
The request passed 30-1.
At-Large Caucus Whip Sen. Hunter Case presented for the At-Large Caucus to ask for $30 for candy. The candy will be used for their “Short and Sweet” surveys.
The request passed 28-1 with one abstention.
Rockel presented for the Survey Committee to ask for $124.38 for the committee to buy baskets as an incentive for the student body to do the surveys.
The request passed 30-0 with one abstention.