SGA News

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. 

Bethel College Student Government Denounces Dakota Access Pipeline

This past Sunday, November 20, the Student Government unanimously passed Resolution #84-028 to denounce the Dakota Access Pipeline as a violation of Native American rights.

The vote comes after the Environmental Action Club (EAC) submitted a petition calling for the SGA to denounce the pipeline due to its violation of Native American waters. The petition had 143 signatures, which represents 30% of the student body.

Westen Gesell, senior from Winnipeg and member of the EAC, said in a statement to the SGA:

“I am excited to hear that the petition for SGA to denounce the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as the treatment of protectors at Standing Rock, went through. I feel that such action from the Student Government Association is in accordance with the values that are at the heart of the Bethel College community. I also recognize that there is much more that can be done by those who Stand with Standing Rock, including donating, being there ourselves, and calling/mailing governmental representatives calling on them to support the actions of the protectors. There is an opportunity for members of the student body to take further action this coming Monday evening (the 28th of November) when the Environmental Action Committee will be hosting a letter-signing event, with letters being sent to [state] government representatives.”

 

Any further questions can be sent to the Student Government at sga@bethelks.edu.

Articles of Impeachment against Student Body President Jacob Miller Fail

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Jacob Miller – Student Body President

On Monday, October 30, seven members of the Student Government co-created a Letter of Impeachment against Student Body President Jacob Miller. The letter cited Misfeasance, the illegal or improper performance of a legal and proper act or duty, Malfeasance, or misconduct or wrongful act, especially by an elected or appointed official, and Nonfeasance, or failure to perform an act that is either an official duty or a legal requirement.

The co-authors of the letter are as follows:

Speaker of the Senate and Junior Senator Cayla Lawless

Secretary of Diversity Zachary Preheim

Secretary of Student Activities Mareike Bergen

Chief of Staff Alec Loganbill

Secretary of the Senate and Senior Senator Grace Bradfield

At-Large Senator Lara Scott

Sophomore Senator Mallory Case

In a soon to be released vote, the senate gained at least 2/3 majority on Wednesday, November 2, to enact Articles of Impeachment against President Miller. Miller was then suspended from his role as Student Body President and Student Body Vice-President Kiley Varney assumed his spot as Acting President.

The articles were then presented to the judicial council for a 3/4 vote to impeach President Miller. The judicial council ruled on Sunday, November 6, that there were not sufficient grounds for impeachment and reversed the Articles of Impeachment. Miller is scheduled to re-take office soon.

In an email to the student body, Miller was optimistic about the incident, saying: “Let’s move forward together as a student body. I still love Bethel, and [I] am proud to be your President.”

Further questions or concerns about the impeachment trial or President Miller can be sent to sga@bethelks.edu.

President White offers Entrepreneurial Grants

This article originally appeared in issue one of The Collegian. Applications for the grant can be found on the SGA website under the finance tab.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-4-08-19-pm    Written by Cameron Pickens

Starting this fall, Bethel College will be offering grants to entrepreneurial members of the Bethel College community who want to make change. The purpose of the Bethel College Entrepreneurial Grants is a broadening of the learning experience of the entire Bethel community, which means that all students, faculty and staff can apply.

“Colleges and universities like Bethel College struggle to remain relevant,” said President Perry White. “Our hope is to build a greater entrepreneurial mindset. As an industry, higher education needs to be more innovative than we [the Bethel community] have been.” Rosa Barrera, assistant to the president, is accepting proposals for these grants now. The deadline for submission is Nov. 1, 2016. Three $3,000 grants will be available to the Bethel community members who apply.

The Proposal Selection Committee will award the grants by voting. Two of the eight members of the committee are students on the Student Government Strategic Planning Committee: JDaijon Sumpter, junior from Bonsall, Calif. and Meredith Stone, junior from Clovis, Calif. The two will have 25% of the voting power in awarding these grants. The proposals, according to the Proposal Selection Committee, will be judged and chosen on three areas: adherence to the objectives outlined on the “Extending our Heritage, Expanding our Impact” Strategic Plan, potential for return on investment for Bethel College, and potential for replication by others on our campus.

Student Body President Jacob Miller, senior from Westmoreland, said, “President White aims to be entrepreneurial motivated and these three grants satisfy that innovation. I hope everyone who has an entrepreneurial idea will attempt the application.” White explained that the committee would determine the appropriate return for each specific investment. The determined return may not always be monetary, but will somehow benefit Bethel College. “I would love to see a new wave of higher education and to see some of the creativity and fun come out,” White said.

Proposal Selection Committee Member and student Meredith Stone said that students, faculty and staff should think out of the box when creating innovative ideas for the proposals. According to Stone, the application and Strategic Plan documents will be posted on the Student Government Association’s website for easy access for students, and on Thresher Connect for faculty and staff. The steps for applying are simple.

First, create an innovative, repeatable self-sustainable proposal. Second, fill out the application. Stone recommends on the application, “Give as much information about your idea as possible, but be direct.” The application has six questions. Each question pertains to aspects of the proposal and requires a maximum word count of 250 words.

Once the application is done, send it to Rosa Barrera, assistant to president. The Proposal Selection Committee plans to have a decision made for each of the three grants as soon as possible, once all of the applications are submitted by Nov. 1, 2016. Stone, White, Miller and members of the Proposal Selection Committee will be available for questions. A list of the committee members can be found on the bottom of the application sheet.

Mid-Summer Executive Update

The Executive Council has been hard at work this summer preparing for the upcoming school year. Here is a brief look at what they have been up to:

Jacob Miller, President

  • Appointed students to serve on board committees
  • Wrote welcome letters and speeches for the Fall
  • Started working to create the first-ever Bethel College undergraduate research journal.

Kiley Varney, Vice President

  • Gave suggestions for board committees
  • Added goals to the SGA goal sheet
  • Began research into Bethel’s time sheet system

Mareike Bergen, Secretary of Student Activities

  • Attended the S.P.I.R.I.T Conference in South Carolina
  • Finalized activities for Welcome Week in August
  • Scheduled student activities for the entire Fall semester

Alec Loganbill, Chief of Staff

  • Reviewed the financial status of the school newspaper, The Collegian, and the Bethel yearbook, The Thresher
  • Began gathering information on Student Policies
  • Gave suggestions for board committees

Zachary Preheim, Secretary of Diversity Affairs

  • Evaluated other Diversity Councils for ideas to improve Bethel’s
  • Planned diversity convocations
  • Kept contact with current Diversity Council members

Emily Kondziola, Secretary of Public Relations

  • Organized the Fall SGA photo shoot
  • Created a plan to increase student access to SGA social media
  • Began collaboration to connect an online version of the Collegian to the SGA website