What you missed at SGA: Hitting quorum, University Improvement resolutions
April 4, 2023
The Student Government Association officially hit quorum this week with the approval of two senators, enabling the organization to start passing resolutions.
Anthropology major Mason Crowe and biology major Zach Holtz were accepted into the Student Senate as a slate with no opposition and no abstention, bringing the number of senators to 26. With quorum reached, the Student Senate unanimously voted to pass a resolution on Norse Boulevard introduced last year by Silverent Balcaitis. The resolution calls for Northern Kentucky University to discuss with local representatives, senators and the Kentucky Department of Transportation to install lighting along Norse Boulevard, which currently does not have any streetlights.
Lucy Burns, chairwoman of the University Improvements Committee, presented the second reading of a resolution to update nutritional information introduced in February. The resolution requests that the nutritional information of food items served in the Student Union food court be updated to be as in-depth as that of Norse Commons dishes, accounting for allergies and dietary restrictions that students may have. The Student Senate will vote on the resolution at their April 10 meeting.
Burns additionally read a resolution to create an outdoor recreation space for students, both residential and commuter, at the site of the former Woodcrest Apartments behind Commonwealth Hall. The lot has been sitting vacant since the demolition of Woodcrest in 2021, but students have been hanging out there regularly, Burns said. The recreation space is slated to feature hammocks and hammock poles, tables, grills, volleyball courts, pickleball courts, a ga-ga ball pit or four-square courts. The day of passage for the resolution is currently undecided.
Senator Olivia Onodu introduced a resolution to add labels to light switches at various campus buildings that remind students, faculty, staff and visitors to turn off the lights in vacant rooms, arguing that doing so would conserve energy and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions for the university. The Student Senate will also vote on the resolution on April 10.
The Judicial Council also presented two opinions at the meeting regarding punishments for violations of SGA election rules and guidelines. The first opinion prohibits the Election Commission from enacting percentage based vote deduction—the act of nullifying votes cast for candidates who have been found to violate election rules—as it punishes voters rather than the candidates at fault.
Instead, the council offered punitive measures that vary depending on the type of infraction and when it takes place. Candidates could be excluded from the ballot if they fail to follow pre-election procedures, face disqualification for rule violations during election time and be referred to the student government for impeachment after they have secured their positions. The dean of students reserves the right to deduct votes.
The second judicial opinion forbids the Election Commission from punishing candidates for the actions of a person unaffiliated with their campaigns that violate campaign rules and regulations. If an independent actor attempts to bolster their candidate of choice by sabotaging a rival candidate’s campaign, the first candidate would not be held responsible for the actions.