Senior Santiago Cabrera, Committee chair of the Student Government Association (SGA) Village Relations Committee began an initiative to expand the scope of his committee outside of South Orange.
To achieve this expansion, Cabrera, a freshman economics and finance major, is hoping to pass an amendment to change the name of the Village relations committee.
Cabrera needs 600 student signatures in order to change the name of the committee.
The proposed amendment is called the “Committee Horizons Expansion Act” and was drafted by Senator Cabrera and Senator Nicholas Alfano. The proposed change in the constitution comes down to the language used in the description of the committee.
The name would be changed to the External Affair Committee and according to the bill, the responsibilities of the committee would be extended to addressing concerns “deemed necessary by the Chair” and issues in the whole state of New Jersey that are relevant to Seton Hall University students.
Cabrera said the student body has needs that go beyond the village of South Orange and that SGA must adapt to address those needs.
Senator Cabrera said that his committee has many plans in place if the amendment passes, such as a creating a “coalition of Student Governments in New Jersey” which he says will give students a stronger voice in larger issues statewide.
“We also want to create a housing fair with options around New Jersey and in New York City for students who are getting a job over summer, and we want to expand on Social Work initiatives in Newark,” Cabrera said.
According to Speaker Arthur Adriano, in order to pass this amendment and amend the constitution, Cabrera has to petition for support from the student body and receive 600 student signatures to be able to present his initiative to SGA President Rishi Shah and the SGA faculty advisor.
Speaker Adriano, a sophomore history major, said that the 600 signature requirement is “arduous” but the reason for the strictness of the process is to maintain the SGA’s connection with the student body by keeping them informed of every big decision and providing checks and balances in the senate.
“The Student Body is able to be informed of any proposed changes and has the ability to ensure that the constitution of their student representative body best addresses their needs,” Adriano said.
Cabrera said the projected expansion of the committee is being done for the benefit of the student body, and said he has massive plans in place.
Erney Fertile, a sophomore creative writing major, said he supports the expansion of the Village Relations committee into the External Affair Committee.
“If it’s for that reason, to broaden intentions and goals, and the change is for the sake of broaden their goals and their plans,” Fertile said.
Micalda Francillon, a senior public relations and sound and visual media major, said she supports the new name and responsibilities suggested by Senator Cabrera.
“I think it’s a good idea, especially for commuters,” Francillon, who commutes daily from Ocean Township, said.
Despite the support received from vocal students on campus, Senator Cabrera will have to come up with an aggressive promotion strategy to get all 600 signatures for the amendment.
Students support the Committee Horizons Expansion Act but only when it is explained to them, and are not aware of the Village Relations committee’s previous actions on campus and sometimes not aware of the committee at all.
Speaker Adriano said he will support whatever decision the senate makes about Cabrera’s initiative and said he is thankful for Cabrera and his partners’ “hard work and diligence” in preparing their amendment.
Mia Page can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.