SGA votes to propose POWER commissioner on fall ballots

The Student Government Association approved potential amendments to the SGA constitution including the ability to appoint a new non-voting member from Protesting Oppression with Educational Reform at their weekly Tuesday meeting.

The new non-voting member will potentially represent POWER as its student commissioner. This proposed constitutional amendment comes after POWER staged a two-part protest with hundreds of student participants last fall and mounted a petition with more than 2,000 signatures. SGA approved the amendment to appear on student ballots in the SGA elections on Nov. 14.

Executive President Jessica Guida said in a statement that members of POWER and SGA representatives, significantly overlap. Creating a POWER commissioner allows for an official liaison between the two organizations.

“This way, we can hopefully work together more,” Guida said in her statement.

Last year’s protest demanded new cultural competency training for all incoming students and a redesigned first-year writing program among other requests.

The POWER commissioner would advise SGA on any POWER-sensitive issues. This includes any potential responsibility the Executive President or Commissioner’s Council may deem necessary in the future.

Another proposed amendment will officially designate the Executive President as the undergraduate representative to the college’s Board of Trustees at their meetings.

The proposition faced hesitation after some members of SGA said the Executive President may not always best represent the undergraduate population to the Board of Trustees. This dissent came from members of SGA such as WLP Senator Megan Raible, Performing Arts Senator Josh Schussler, and Journalism Senator Joseph Davidi.

“Obviously I trust [Guida], but five years from now we don’t know who the president will be,” Davidi said at the meeting.

SGA postponed the vote to next week’s meeting because of the indecision.

“My hope with this position is that students would be voting on someone to represent them at the Board of Trustees,” Guida said.

SGA has occasionally sent the Executive President to Board of Trustees meetings as the undergraduate representative in the past. However, in other years another member of SGA served as the undergraduate representative. This year, Guida represents the undergraduate population at the Board’s meetings.

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