SGA addresses empty seats

A formal request by the student body to consider building a new campus recreation center has been passed and presented to the administration of Northern Kentucky University.

The resolution calls on the NKU administration to conduct “a comprehensive study to be completed in regards to the expansion or building of a new campus recreation center in a timely manner.”

The resolution, presented by University Improvements Committee Chair Michelle Forlenza, passed unanimously and without any further discussion on the content of the proposal. It included rationale for the study, including the increasing popularity of the center and intramural sports programs with students and national standards recommended for university campus health programs.

After passage, Dean of Students Jeffrey Waple said that a building committee is being formed to head up the study on the feasibility of a new campus recreation center. Waple has been active in making suggestions for improvements on the resolution at the SGA meetings.

“This is good research and good timing,” Waple said. “We appreciate the work Michelle (Forlenza) and her committee has done with the resolution.”

The SGA Senate no longer has any vacant positions after three new senators were confirmed by the members and sworn in by Chief Justice Shauna Prentice. David Bonilla, a freshman political science major and president of the undergraduate mock trial team; Ali Hedges, a freshman elementary education and Spanish major and president of the Freshmen Service Leadership Committee; and Emily Parker, a senior political science major and president of Xi-Omega political science honor society are now representing students to the NKU administration. Hedges is also a photographer for The Northerner.

SGA President Kevin Golden only presented those three candidates for appointment. He is entitled to do so because the organization’s constitution requires that the president must recommend a candidate before he or she can be confirmed. However, at least one SGA member seemed surprised that all four applicants were not given the opportunity to present to the senators.

Griffin Frank, an SGA senator, asked Golden if the other candidate was unable to be there. Golden explained that he only invited his three choices to the meeting.

The fourth candidate who was not recommended by Golden was Benjamin Romito, a mathematics major and co-founder of the Spanish Honor Society. In his application, Romito said he thought his critical thinking skills would be an asset to the student governing body.

Dean Waple praised Golden during the meeting for choosing good nominees. “Kudos to you, President Golden, for three great choices on senator appointments,” he said.

The three presidential nominees spoke before the body of student leaders, sharing with them the reasons they felt they were right for the job.

Parker talked about how she had previously attended NKU but left after her freshman year. Now that she has returned as a non-traditional student, Parker said she wants to examine ways to better retain students because she was not retained.

Hedges talked about working to “bridge the gap between SGA and the student body.” Namely, she mentioned working to increase student participation in SGA elections and increasing the organization’s public relations.

Bonilla mentioned that one of his major goals was to push for specific housing for each of the university’s fraternities and sororities. When warned by a member that he might get his idea “shut down” by the University, Bonilla replied, “I wouldn’t give up.”

Only Parker received a unanimous confirmation. Four people voted against appointing Bonilla as a senator, including two committee chairs, Michelle Forlenza (University Improvements) and Paul Bell (Student Rights). Eight more abstained from the Bonilla confirmation. Two members abstained from voting on whether to confirm Hedges.

New legislation is expected to be presented in the coming weeks from the Student Rights Committee. On Oct. 25, Matt Hackett with the Campus Recreation Center will present at the meeting.

Story by Jesse Call