By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
After about two hours of heated debate, the Students’ Association Congress rejected a proposed trial period for the so-called “big shake-up.”
After being confronted with stiff opposition to the shake-up in previous meetings, executive president Jeremy Smith proposed that SA operate under the proposal next semester. If Congress liked the setup, it could vote to amend the Constitution in March.
The shake-up, which Smith proposed three weeks ago, would have created new systems of operations for committees and set up a system of advocacy within the voting body.
The majority of Congress approved the trial period resolution, but an opposition group, led by the senior class officers, drew enough votes away to kill it. Congress voted 24-12 with two abstentions to pass the resolution, but 27 votes-a majority of all currently held seats-were needed for passage. Fourteen representatives were absent or did not vote.
“What can you say?” Smith said after the resolution failed. “If Congress doesn’t want to work for the student body, then you can’t make it work for the student body.”
The debate-which featured several moments where speakers ignored the procedure of speaking to Congress and not each other-centered on whether class officers could keep activity-planning as a part of their job description next semester.
“As the student government, our job is not to entertain people,” said Dustin Tallent, freshman vice president vice president. “If we do pass this, we need to make it solely on advocacy.”
Spring Break Campaigns committee chair Rachel McGuire, agreed, saying the purpose of voting members was to vote, not to plan.
However, senior class president Brandon Carter, said best representing the needs of his class called for planning activities and little else.
Senior class senator Kristi Cooke added that she didn’t think the proposed plan was the best possibility.
“There are not a lot of things fully defined that I’d like to see fully defined before we decide to just try it out next year,” she said.
Hispanos Unidos president Elizabeth Alvarez said putting activities before advocacy was unconstitutional. Senior officers responded that removing activities altogether was unconstitutional.
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution describes the responsibilities of voting members. Among them is “to initiate, regulate and coordinate all Students’ Association activities.”
The failure of the trial period resolution throws serious questions onto whether the entire plan, dubbed “the big shake-up” by vice president Jeremy Gordon, will be passed in any form before Christmas; however, it may still be brought to a vote at any time.
Congress also unanimously passed a resolution to be sent to Faculty Senate chair Paul Piercall that calls on faculty to refrain from giving tests the Thursday and Friday of Sing Song.
A third resolution, that Congress would give its support to the newly formed Texas State Students Association of which SA is a founding member, passed 37-1 with one abstention.
Congress also denied an appeal by the National Broadcasting Society to grant its full request of $1,000. The Appropriations Committee had granted $400 of NBS’ original request.