SGA/APB animosity runs high

Dean of Students Kent Kelso organized a meeting Feb. 4 with the Activities Programming Board to address the group’s concerns with the Student Government Association’s proposed constitution.

The meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, covered a wide range of problems APB had with the constitution and was called in an attempt to revise the document before it was voted on Monday.

“In theory, this is a good idea. Many universities [practice shared governance] – their SGA, their programming and their housing associations all work together,” said Sheena Dunn, director of Music for the Masses for APB.

“But right now, the way this organization is running, their president has entirely too much power for this ever to work, and it seems like they’re not willing to give up any of it. We’re fighting real hard just to make it fair,” she said.

Chris Pace, SGA president, said that even though SGA and APB may not agree on everything, he sees room for compromise.

APB concerns included the fact that the vice president of programming’s position would not include voting privileges, and the position would be elected by the student body during SGA elections.

“We don’t want to give up [our] rights,” said Jessica Reehill, director of Wacky Wednesdays for APB. “We want a vote.”

Kelso said that APB members agreed that more representation in SGA is needed. However, Kelso saw more of a problem with the issue of an election.

“APB has a budget of $100,000 that came from 14,000 students. That $100,000 is spent by this group of students,” Kelso said.

“Not one person in here was selected by the people who gave you the money. Where’s the accountability?”

“It might become a popularity vote if it’s between two different directors, [where] one is more socially popular than the other, but the other one has worked harder and really earned that position,” said APB adviser Stephanie McGoldrick. “The student body doesn’t know any of that.”

After much debate, Kelso asked APB members if they “philosophically” agreed with the idea of shared governance.

After learning that they consensually did, he simply said that this document would be the first step towards that dream.

The constitution was revised again before being voted on at the Feb. 9 SGA meeting.

APB members present were “relieved” that it did not pass, according to Dunn.

Dunn said the newly revised version was a “large leap forward,” but that it did not address all of their concerns.

“There’s no way you can just take over a group and expect relationships to get better,” she said.

“Just because you didn’t get along before, overpowering and taking over isn’t going to make things better. If anything you’re going to [be] stuck with a situation that’s just a big mess.

“Until these two groups can get along and give mutual respect to each other, there’s no way it would ever work here.”