SGA proposes changes to election process, passes funding for Afro-Latinidad event


Arthur H. Trickett-Wile

Senior Senator Olivia Feck speaks during Western Kentucky University Student Government Association’s second session of the spring semester on Tuesday evening, Jan. 24, 2023 in the SGA chambers on campus in Bowling Green.

Matt Fulkerson, SGA Reporter

The Student Government Association’s weekly meeting on Tuesday, March 21 featured a guest speaker, Yertty Vandermolen, a Spanish instructor, who brought her words on a bill, a proposal to change the laws of SGA, and a new seat being filled. 

Vandermolen brought in her thoughts to Bill 40-23-S, which will fund the Afro-Latinidad event taking place on April 3. Afro-Latinidad will have art displays, presentations, influential Latino characters, culinary displays and more. The bill was passed unanimously.

“When we often think of a Latino person, we often think of a tan person from Central [or] Latin America, but people usually forget about the presence of the African community in Spanish-speaking countries, so my students have been working all semester to honor [the culture] of Afro-Latinos,” Vandermolen said.

Bill 39-23-S aimed to “clarify[ing] the election process.” It would first move the transfer, non-traditional and first-gen senate seats to the fall election, rather than the current spring election.

“We just think that it would be better if [we] started with the academic year,” Neel Patel, Gatton Academy senator, said.

The second piece the bill would do is redefine the process by which vacancies are filled. Patel said SGA has come to rely on the President more and more to turn vacant seats into “at large” seats, and that it’s a “dangerous practice for any government organization such as ours.” 

Patel also pointed out that the Constitutional Amendments have made responsibilities to make college specific seats to get nullified to another seat. 

Patel proposed that in order for a seat to become an “at large” seat, it would have to “reach 2/3 majority vote from the Senate” and ensure that nominees are held to the same standard as the previous election codes. With a vote of 19-15, the bill failed to pass, not meeting the 2/3 majority vote.

Bill 41-23-S, which would fund Dance Big Red, a fundraising event for Norton Children’s Hospital, was proposed. College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Senator Annalise Finch said it would “put Student Government’s name out there” and that it’s also a “big opportunity to students.” Finch also noted that a number of students have already signed up. The bill failed to pass.

Annie Simpson, a senior, was inducted as the new Senator-at-Large. Senator-at-Large Ethan Huffaker was elected Secretary of the Senate.

Matthew Fulkerson, SGA Reporter, can be reached at [email protected].