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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

SGA reestablishes weekly meetings, removes subcommittee seats

Victoria+Owens%2C+a+liberal+arts+and+sciences+senator+in+the+Student+Government+Association%2C+speaks+on+the+Senate+Structure+Reorganization+Act+during+the+Student+Session+meeting+on+Wednesday%2C+March+27.
Allison Campbell
Victoria Owens, a liberal arts and sciences senator in the Student Government Association, speaks on the Senate Structure Reorganization Act during the Student Session meeting on Wednesday, March 27.

A bill that removed Student Senate subcommittees and altered the frequency of SGA sessions was voted on and approved after more than an hour of deliberation and discussion at Wednesday night’s meeting. According to Thompson, the bill’s primary sponsor, the Senate Structure Reorganization Act would correct “what happened this session that we were not in favor of” and alter initiatives that the Senate “didn’t feel were successful.”

The bill removed the following Senate subcommittees: the Underrepresented Populations, Accessibility, Student Affairs, and Academic Affairs subcommittees. It also added a new committee for academics. 

“We have all noticed that the subcommittees are just quite not working the way that the structure is set,” Sen. Victoria Owens said. “It’s incredibly necessary for us to eliminate those subcommittees and allow for … a more structured Senate.”

In addition, Student Senate meeting times were readjusted from biweekly to weekly meetings, with committee meetings to also be held weekly. The bill established a new annual fall election to fill vacant Senate seats, which extends new opportunities to those with heavy spring classloads, freshman and transfer students interested in joining the Senate.

“This is not a small change, but it is one many of us feel is needed and a bit overdue,” Thompson said.

Thompson also noted another constitutional amendment in this bill that would redefine senatorial quorum — the number of senators that must be present for Senate business to be discussed, voted upon and passed. The change now includes senators on sabbatical, even if absent, as simple majority voting members in Senate meetings to allow the Senate to operate despite minimum quorum thresholds. 

All Senate members are required to attend regular meetings, which has proven difficult throughout the year.

Sens. Owens, Nathan Atkison, Lily Arens, Andrew Bobbitt, Joshua Mallard, and Adriana Owens spoke in support of the bill and expressed how necessary they thought this change was. 

“I feel like we’ve had this conversation quite a few times … of ‘What’s going on? What’s going wrong in this session? How do we improve this session?’” Owens said. “This (bill) is a beautiful way to do (address) that.”

Senators approved the bill with 20 votes in affirmation and two abstentions.

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About the Contributor
Allison Campbell, News Editor
Allison Campbell is one of the news editors for The Sunflower. Campbell is a junior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Campbell hopes to pursue a career in writing or editing after graduation. They use any pronouns.

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