In the 2008-2009 school year the Student Government Association passed 26 resolutions and bills, and more are in the works for this year.
Some of the past year’s initiatives included the Trayless Resolution, which aimed to make the dining halls more ecofriendly, the Amethyst Initiative, which is part of a national debate among colleges regarding the drinking age and the Village Liaisons Bill, which created a cabinet of students within the SGA to act as a link between Seton Hall students and the Village of South Orange.
In an attempt to become more known among the student body, the SGA passed the SGA Transparency and Accountability Act. Still, some students aren’t well aware of what the SGA is responsible for on campus.
“My problem with the SGA is that I do not know what, if anything they do,” sophomore Raphael Baseman said. Senate Speaker Cosmo Cirillo wants students to know that the SGA is there to help them with any Seton Hall-related issues.
“The Student Government Association is the student body’s representation to the Administration, therefore, please feel free to bring any concerns or issues you may have to any Executive Board Member or Senator,” Cirillo said.
Some students feel that the SGA is making good efforts, but is limiting itself by being more interactive with clubs than the student body as a whole. “In addition to working with the clubs on campus, there needs to be more interaction with all the students,” sophomore Rachel Rosenstrock said. Others believe that the student body should be more proactive in getting involved with SGA.
“It’s partially the students’ fault,” sophomore Amelia Snoblin said. “We could go to the meetings, we could read the emails.” The SGA is trying to be more communicative with students, Cirillo said.
“The newly installed Executive Board and Student Senate are working closely together in order to ensure that student needs are being met throughout the University,” Cirillo said.
The main issue discussed at Monday’s meeting was the newly-implemented printing policy, which limits students to printing 400 free pages a semester. Several students came to the SGA Monday night to voice their concerns.
“I’m in my first two weeks of classes and I’ve already printed over 300 page. I’ve copied down full pages to avoid printing,” junior business major Rory Manning said. “I hate that I had to find out about this after I’d already moved to school because last year I had a printer.”
Jessica Noto explained how many of her classes require excessive printing. “I come as a Mock Trial team member, as a student in the Honors program, and as an English student,” Noto said.
The SGA has already begun planning how the policy could be altered to better fit the needs of students, and a special committee of seven senators, co-chaired by Senators Dana Kappel and Ivan Vilela was organized to deal specifically with this issue.
The Academic Affairs Committee is meeting with members of the administration to discuss the issue on Friday. “The number may change but there’s still going to be some sort of limit, because the reason the policy came up is because students print things and leave them by the printer,” Executive Board President Leonard Jones said. “We’re going to be working on it very diligently.”
The SGA also passed revamped versions of both their Constitution and their Bylaws, which last year’s Executive Board Secretary, Kim Franko worked to make significantly more clear and concise. Other changes were made to simply help the SGA run more efficiently, such as the Senatorial Responsibilities Act, which requires strict attendance of senators, and the Free and Open Debate Act, which calls for a minimum of five minutes debate time for all new bills and resolutions.
Much of the legislation passed last year was in attempt to reconcile any tensions or disconnect between the SGA and the clubs and organizations it recognizes, most notably the Senatorial and Club Unification Act. In accordance with this act, each senator will act as a liaison to three or four clubs, and will attend at least two meetings of each club per semester while keeping in regular correspondence with the club’s president.
The SGA meets Monday nights at 8:30 in Jubilee Hall room 112 and students are encouraged to attend meetings to voice any issues they may have.
Katherine O’Brian can be reached at email@example.com