Introducing the 85th SGA!

They will begin transitioning into their new role and officially take office in May. Student Body President-elect Kiley Varney will begin assembling her cabinet for next year and additionally submit the names of students to fill the vacancies of the Commuter Senators and Junior Senators. Freshmen Senators will be elected in the Fall.

Clarifying the Student Government Fee

The purpose of the Student Activity Fee (SAF) is to provide funding for the Student Government Association so that we can further work for the students of Bethel College. This has always been the intent for the SAF, though it has been met with resistance and confusion. We recognize that this confusion may come, in part, from the lack of information provided about the fee. The SAF is a fee added to regular tuition, psgfaid by all students regardless of hours taken or resident status at Bethel College. The fee fully funds the SGA for the entire academic year.

The money is allocated by the SGA to the Student Activities Council (SAC) and The Collegian. This means that money paid by students towards the SAF not only goes towards the great programming put on by SAC, like Trivia Night, Dine at 9, and Thresher Cinema, but also towards publishing the Collegian and addressing student concerns brought to SGA. The fee also provides funds to pay all of the students working within th
ese groups, including SGA Officers, SAC Secretaries, and Collegian Staff

In an effort to improve transparency surrounding the SAF, we have decided to rebrand the fee as the Student Government Fee (SGF). While the previous name expressed the activities and programming put on by SAC, we want it to fully encompass the reach of your money. We continue to work towards making sure every dollar of the SGF will go back towards the students, and benefit the whole of Bethel College.

In addition to the new name, we have also created a new SGF logo to put on everything that has been made possible by the fee, such as posters for events put on by SAC and SGA.

As always, if you have any questions surrounding what the SGF goes towards, the rebranding, or an idea on how the SGF can be spent to benefit the students of Bethel, please reach out to the SGA. This can be done either through the SGACares page found on our website or by talking with any member of SGA. As we enter into this new semester, we will keep our mantra in mind–by the students, for the students.

A letter from the Executive Council

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All,

Bethel College’s 84th Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Council hopes that everyone had a wonderful, relaxing, and well-deserved holiday season. As we enter the New Year with 2016 in the books, it’s time for SGA to get back to work to continue to provide a voice for all students. Before we address what we will accomplish this interterm and spring, let us briefly reflect back on Fall 2016.

Let’s not sugarcoat reality. SGA experienced its first impeachment hearing, and it was a tumultuous time for all of us. The articles of impeachment passed the Senate but were overturned by the Judicial Council, meaning President Miller is still in office. We, along with select senators, have since went through KIPCOR mediation sessions, smoothed out any and all conflict, and are looking forward to move on as a team under the direction of President Miller’s Evaluation Plan, which seeks to remedy the problems that caused the impeachment process.  

Despite the impeachment hearing and the issues that surrounded it, SGA was still able to accomplish a great deal. A complete recap can be found here on our webite: (https://bethelsga.com/about/sga-news/). 

This time last year, the 83rd SGA Senate passed 12 bills (one of which was vetoed by President Goertzen). In Fall 2016, SGA Senate passed 27 bills (one of which was vetoed by President Miller), which more than doubled last session’s total. 

SGA officially breaks from recess on Monday, January 30, and although we cannot pass legislation through Senate until then, we will continue to work over Interterm, just as we did during Christmas and Summer Break. Our SGA Goal Sheet is chalk full of student concerns from this year and years past. Although we have not yet checked every box on the goal sheet (that would mean our goals are too easy), we have certainly made progress. 

Here’s a look at the goals SGA plans to fulfill in the coming months:

  • Hold conversations pursuing greater recognition and integration between SGA and the Board, as well as the Cabinet. This may include pushing for a change in representative structure in the future. 
  • Continue to aid the athletic department in bolstering the Mem Hall Weight Room. 
  • Digitize campus timesheets across the board, reducing processing time and cutting down on forgery. 
  • Improve the effectiveness of the Student Activity Fee so that students get “the most bang for our buck.” In addition, students will have accessible information on what exactly their Student Activity Fee dollars are spent on.
  • Complete a “Yes Means Yes” video targeting the reduction of sexual assault on Bethel’s campus and beyond.
  • Continue work on recycling initiatives, edits to the SGA Bylaws, a Last Lecture series, and a commuter lounge.

If you are dissatisfied with your representatives, administration, faculty, staff, facilities, or anything/anyone else, please talk with your senators or executive members. Their info can be found on the “branches” tab on our website. You can also utilize our website to fill out an SGACares submission (https://bethelsga.com/sgacares/). 

We students have more power than we realize and should have a say in how things are run on Bethel’s campus. Remember, SGA serves as the student megaphone, not microphone; we amplify students’ opinions, thoughts, and perspectives to give every a student a voice. Best of luck with Interterm, Stay Bethel Busy, and Roll on Threshers!

Sincerely,

Your Executive Council, a team.

Jacob Miller – Student Body President    

Kiley Varney – Student Body Vice President

 Zachary Preheim – Secretary for Diversity Affairs

 Mareike Bergen – Secretary for Student Activities

 Emily Kondziola – Secretary for Public Relations                                               

Alec Loganbill – Chief of Staff

Questions or concerns can be addressed on SGACares (https://bethelsga.com/sgacares/), or at the email sga@bethelks.edu

SGA, Anti-Oppression Task Force, and others invited to meet with Presidential Search Committee

On January 4, members of the Student Government, Anti-Oppression Task Force, Community Assistants, and Student Chaplins recieved an email invitation to meet with the Presidential Search Committee to discuss the proccess of selecting Bethel’s future president. 

The email, sent by the Coordinator of Student Activities Gabriel Fonseca, asked SGA officers and others to RSVP if interested in attending the meeting. The meeting is scheduled to take place Monday, January 9, at 1:00pm. Space is estimated to be limited to the attendence of approximately 15 students. 

The meeting has been portrayed to be open to any interested student. SGA will continue to update students as more information on the matter comes in.

This article was updated on 1/6/17 to reflect new information that the meeting would be open to interested students. 

Questions or concerns about the meeting can be addressed on SGACares (https://bethelsga.com/sgacares/), or at the email sga@bethelks.edu

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.