COMMENTARY: Aiming for equality

Laura Harper Director of Public Relations, SGA

Recognition of an issue begins the process of improvement. SGA has the influence to improve our university by representing the student body’s opinion. Through diversity, SGA can make informed decisions that better represent the student body.

New legislation brings the ideal closer. Every academic college holds an SGA senate seat to offer each discipline a vote in senate. This provides an additional avenue for expression that mirrors the system used by the university.

To achieve the goal of having a senator for each academic division, Navitas and English as a Second Language International required their own category. Navitas and ESLI are programs for non-native English speakers that contain mostly English classes to develop proficiency. The constitutional amendment promotes the goal equally for each academic unit through creation of this new seat. The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science seat demonstrates the same principle, as does the Potter College seat. This standard necessitates a Navitas/ESLI seat to ensure equality.

Opening a specific seat for a student group does not imply that the seat is the only one available to them or that it is the only channel to SGA. The availability of at-large positions and multiple ways to speak with the senate facilitates communication between students and Senate without the addition of seats according to interest alone.

Constitutional amendments are not the sole discretion of SGA. The amendment appears on the fall election ballot for all students to vote on Sept. 17 – 18 via Topnet. If the majority of voters find it less than ideal, we can work together to find a better solution.

SGA craves feedback. With a multitude of methods for involvement, express your opinion by voting, running for office, sending an email, speaking at a meeting, dropping by the office, and getting to know your college’s senator or a senator at-large. Accurate representation is not automatic. Sculpt the government through conversation and involvement.

SGA serves as a voice but functions as an assistant to students in other ways. When you need money for research or summer term classes, study abroad or study away scholarships, vouchers for IDs or transcripts, free Scantrons and a pencil, or just a ride home after a late night, SGA is here for you.

SGA wants to help in every way possible through our services and voice. The new amendment serves us all through equally representing each academic distinction.