Last Wednesday night, the Student Government Association’s weekly hearing was not a typical occasion. In addition to debating the three bills offered to the senators, the group made school history as they partnered with Greek Life to give the Greeks senatorial spots in SGA for the first time.
At the Greek Community Senator Signing Ceremony, lead by Student Body President Marquice Hobbs, the group successfully amended the SGA Constitution, allowing one senator from each council into SGA. The groups are not limited to one senator however. For each 100 active members a Greek council has, one senator will be added to SGA.
“We wanted to give Greek Life its own voice,” Hobbs said. “A lot of times in order to be in SGA, you have to sacrifice your Greek letters because you take on representation for your college. As Greek Life says, ‘your letters are your life’ so we want to hear from that voice.”
Hobbs brought forth the idea during his campaign for his presidency. During many people’s campaigns, they tend to give empty promises in order to get elected. According to the proceedings of the Signing Ceremony, Hobbs has held true to his platform.
“Marquice did a fantastic job talking with all the councils and pushing this deal,” IFC President Cody Brandon said. “He spent a lot of his time working on it himself.”
Greek Life encompasses a significant portion of the student body at SFA. With the representatives speaking for their needs, the Greek students should no longer be so distal from the remaining student body.
“I think the big difference is we’re going to be able insure that Greek students have a connection with a body that speaks on behalf of the students,” Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Adam Peck said. “One of the reasons I was a big fan of this is that I wanted to see Greek leaders spilling onto other leadership roles on this campus. It’s easy for the Greek students to be pretty decentralized and to not connect, so this will give us all a natural connection.”
Although monumental, as Dr. Peck put it in his chamber speech, the Greek senators will not report for duty immediately. Since President Hobbs did not want to put it in the hands of non-Greek students to decide who will represent them [Greek Life], Greek members will have to first elect their representatives before joining regular SGA proceedings.
The signing wasn’t the only action taken by the senators Wednesday night. Three bills hit the senate floor for debate, two passed and one was tabled. Bill F13B016, a bill that appropriated funding for sculptures and other campus art, passed. Junior Senator Cydney Gonzalez, the bill’s author, was delighted when her colleagues brought the bill to life.
“I feel that our campus is really boring,” Gonzales said. “We are supposed to have 10 percent of the funds allocated for artwork displayed on campus, I just don’t know where that 10 percent is. It will highlight our campus.”
Sculptures for All’s goal is to raise $20,000 to fund “eight to 10” sculptures on campus starting in the spring of 2014.
Along with secured spots in the senate, Greek Life has also been given its own office on the third floor of the Student Center building. Greek Life will now begin the process of electing its officials as SGA closes out their fall session.