SGA Delays Restructure Bill, Elections

College-wide Representative and College junior Will Palmer (RIGHT) presents to the Student Government Association about the undergraduate government restructure Monday. / Michelle Lou, News Editor
College-wide Representative and College junior Will Palmer (RIGHT) presents to the Student Government Association about the undergraduate government restructure Monday. / Michelle Lou, News Editor

The SGA election period has been postponed by one week, pushing back information sessions, candidacy declarations, the campaign period and vote.

The start of the SGA election and voting period moved from March 13 to March 20 because the 50th legislature of the Student Government Association (SGA) delayed a vote on a bill that details the undergraduate student government restructure. The delay allows constituents more time to understand and “digest” the bill, according to the Speaker of the Legislature and College senior Justin Sia. SGA originally planned to vote on the bill Monday night, Sia said.

Elections will finish by the end of March, and officers will be seated at the beginning of April, SGA President and College senior Max Zoberman said.

Should SGA approve a proposed undergraduate student government restructure bill next Monday, the bill will go to an undergraduate referendum in which a simple majority is required to pass it.

The legislature hosted a town hall in the Jones Room of the Robert W. Woodruff Library on the structure and implementation timeline of the post-referendum undergraduate government Monday night. Zoberman said that the legislature anticipates passing Bill 50sl24, which would amend the SGA Constitution to reflect the new undergraduate student government structure, next week. The restructure follows the passage of the Jan. 31 University-wide referendum that split SGA into two autonomous graduate and undergraduate branches.

SGA will host another town hall Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Jones Room to address constituent concerns and to answer questions. After the town hall, legislators will immediately vote, according to Zoberman. Should legislators approve the bill next Monday, it will go to an undergraduate-wide referendum in which constituents will vote online on OrgSync from March 13 to 15.

Prior to the referendum, legislators will inform their constituents via emails and town halls about the details of the bill and changes that would be implemented. If a simple majority votes in favor of the bill, the new SGA Constitution will be ratified and information sessions will be held regarding positions available for election, Zoberman said.

Zoberman added that April will function as a “transition period” for SGA during which “new officers will be instructed on what [their] position means, the new government will spend time discussing legislative priorities [and] what the post-referendum era will look like.”

Six students attended the Monday night town hall on the future of undergraduate student government at Emory, which was publicized in a Monday afternoon all-undergraduate email from Zoberman.

Goizueta Business School senior Amanda Camp, College junior Victoria Hood and College junior Adam Friedman requested that SGA add an Arts Council, which Zoberman proposed in a previous SGA meeting. Camp, the president of the Alpha Psi Omega Theater Honor Society and the publicity manager for Dooley’s Players; Friedman, the Second Floor Basement president and special projects coordinator for Dooley’s Players; and Hood,the production manager for Ad Hoc Productions, voiced concerns about College Council’s (CC) funding system regarding theater groups at Emory on behalf of all student theater organizations under CC. The three students said that they had encountered difficulties gaining funding since their ticket profits go to CC, and students involved with theater productions have to pay hundreds of dollars out of their own pockets in order to fund their productions.

College-wide Representative and College junior Will Palmer presented a proposed undergraduate legislature structure in Bill 50sl24. The proposed legislature consists of 15 members: two freshman, two sophomore, one junior and one senior College representative; one freshman, one sophomore and one alumni Oxford College representative; one junior and one senior Goizueta Business School representative; one Goizueta Business School-wide representative; and three Undergraduate Nursing School representatives.

Under Palmer’s proposal, the Student Programming Committee (SPC) could hold an internal election for its president, and the SPC president would no longer act as vice president of programming on SGA.

Palmer’s proposal would also eliminate representatives-at-large and College-wide representatives. Additionally, the associate vice president for alumni relations and associate vice president for communications positions were eliminated. The SGA president could reinstate any of those positions if he or she desired.

The bill also detailed the structure of the Joint Governance Committee (JGC), stating that the SGA president, executive vice president, vice president of finance, speaker of the legislature and secretary will sit on the JGC to deliberate University-wide matters with Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) representatives.

In response to an Emory Spoke Facebook post criticizing SGA for only allowing 30 minutes for students to voice concerns and their town hall’s low attendance, Palmer said, “There is a distinct possibility that we can tell the student body five times and they won’t come, because this [bill] is relatively non-controversial.”

Michelle Lou contributed reporting.

Correction (Feb. 22 at 10:05 p.m.): The article incorrectly called Camp a College junior. Camp is a Goizueta Business School senior. The article also said that Camp, Hood and Friedman represented Theater Emory but they were speaking on behalf of student theater organizations currently under CC. The article has been corrected.

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