SGA Fall 2016 Legislative Recap

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 2 issue of The Collegian. 

EMILY KONDZIOLA – News Editor, Secretary of Public Relations

The 84th Student Government Association on November 20 officially went into recess until February. Although no legislation can be presented to the senate until this time, various members of the SGA will continue to think and reform ideas to better the student body.

In looking back on the semester the Student Senate passed 28 bills and resolutions, with one being vetoed by Student Body President Jacob Miller. At this time last year, the Student Senate had only passed 12 pieces of legislation with one being vetoed by then President Laird Goertzen. According to results from the SGA performance survey, the Student Senate had a 79.9% approval rating among students who responded. 

Notable legislation that was passed includes a bill that defunds the Thresher Yearbook. Traditionally, funding for the creation of the book fell under the SGA, but due to lack of interest in both creation and demand, SGA axed funding for the Thresher Yearbook permanently. All students who were set to receive a yearbook will have $30 refunded to their student account. 

The original bill to cut funding to the Thresher Yearbook was vetoed by President Miller, but the veto was overridden with a ⅔ majority vote of the senate on October 16, 2016. 

In addition, the SGA voted to change the name of the Student Activity Fee to the Student Government Fee, increase the fee by 15%, and change the fee to be a one-time charge in the Fall semester. Despite all of these proposals being approved by the senate to be implemented, the measures failed to pass when presented to the Bethel Board of Directors in October. 

Also in October the Student Senate voted to commend Lucas DuPriest, senior from Sweden, on being the male recipient of the NAIA 2016 A.O. Duer Scholarship. The scholarship, which has been awarded to one male and one female athlete since 1967, recognizes academics, character, and citizenship. The Student Senate voted unanimously to commend DuPriest on a job well done.  

In November, junior senator Ryne Preheim from Reedley Calif., and senior senator Isaac Dunn from Fresno Calif., presented the Preheim-Dunn Constituency Accountability Act that requires each senator to hold two discussion sessions a semester with their class. The measure was voted on and passed unanimously. 

In their last meeting of the Fall semester, the SGA responded to a student petition by passing a resolution denouncing the Dakota Access Pipeline as a violation of Native American rights.  

Over the course of the semester, the SGA had to replace three commuter senators and one junior senator who had stepped down from their position in the SGA. Once the senate reconvenes in the spring, the organization will have to replace one senior senator spot. 

Additional work done by the senate can be found under the Bills & Minutes tab. 

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