Scott Young, News Editor
The Jacksonville State University Student Senate voted unanimously to approve a bill to establish a Presidential Cabinet in their first meeting of the academic year on Monday, Sept. 16 in the auditorium of the Theron Montgomery Building.
The bill, authored by Sens. Paige Harles and Natalie Walls, allows the SGA President to nominate six members to the Presidential Cabinet who are then confirmed by the Student Senate. Each of the six Cabinet members represent one of the six schools at JSU.
The duties of the Presidential Cabinet will be to meet monthly with the SGA President to discuss issues pertinent to their specific school and advise the SGA President.
“[The SGA President] needs a Cabinet to perform his duties,” said Harles. “If you have individuals from these schools that can help with problems that are arising … it allows for communication to become clear.”
In order to be eligible for the Presidential Cabinet, members must have completed 24 hours at Jacksonville State University and maintain a 2.5 GPA.
Sen. Guadalupe Orozco initially raised concerns that a 2.5 GPA minimum for the Presidential Cabinet is too low and introduced an amendment to raise the requirement to a 3.0 GPA.
“Since they’re going to be representing an entire school of the university, don’t you think they should have at least a 3.0?” Orozco asked.
Walls responded by saying that people make mistakes and that a 2.5 GPA is adequate.
“Not everyone started out on a great foot their freshman year but that does not mean that they should not be disqualified later on to do better things,” said Walls.
Sen. Zavius Kidd asked Orozco if he believes “a GPA says a lot about a person”.
“I do,” Orozco responded. “If you’re making high grades, that means you’re coming to class and paying attention. If you have a low GPA, that probably means you’re probably not really coming to class and if you are, you’re probably not doing your work.”
Kidd said that he disagrees with Orozco and strongly rejected the amendment proposed.
“A GPA is nothing but a number,” said Kidd. “It does not define who a person is. There are many people who don’t have good GPA’s or have a college degree that are doing great things. This is just downgrading to say that a number defines a person.”
The amendment to raise the requirement to a 3.0 GPA was defeated in the Senate after a series of questions and debate.
Sen. James King inquired the authors about graduate student representation in the Presidential Cabinet.
“How will graduate students within those schools be represented?” King asked. “As their class structure and curriculum is completely different.”
Sen. Noah Davis echoed King’s concern about graduate representation in the new Cabinet.
“The problems that face graduate students are different than those that face undergrad,” said Davis.
“Even thought there is only one person, multiple subjects and ideas can be communicated during the meetings,” said Walls.
Kidd proposed a possible position for graduate students to be represented in each school.
“I think the more people that are present in the Cabinet gums up the process in general and leads to conflict of interest,” said Walls.
No amendments were proposed addressing the concerns of graduate representation and the Senate voted unanimously to approve the bill establishing a Presidential Cabinet.
- The SGA Senate voted to appoint Mausam Parajuli, Britney Barker and Alayah Washington to the Senate for the 2019-2020 term.
- The SGA Senate voted to appoint Alayah Washington as the Vice President of the Student Activities Council.
- The SGA Senate tabled a bill to change the last day to submit a bill to the Senate from the end of the business day Tuesday to the end of the business day Friday. The bill was tabled due to a typo and will be considered in the next meeting.
- The SGA Senate amended text in the Code of Laws to require candidate meetings for the Spring general election to be held no later than the business day after applications are due.
- The SGA Senate amended text in the Code of Laws to require candidate meetings for the Homecoming election to be held no later than the business day after applications are due.
- The SGA Senate voted to appoint Laci Gurganus, former SGA vice president of student senate, to serve as the SGA executive assistant for 2019-2020.
- The SGA Senate voted to approve SGA President Ulises Herrera’s nominations of Taylor Anne Beckham to the Presidential Cabinet as a representative of the School of Science and Brock Shafer to the Presidential Cabinet as a representative of the School of Pre-Health Professions and Wellness.
- The SGA Senate passed a resolution to honor the Jacksonville State University’s baseball team for winning the 2019 OVC baseball championship.
- The SGA Senate passed a resolution to nominate the JSU Tabletop and CCG Club for the Organization of the Year award.
- Student Judiciary Advocate Emily Barfield swore in new members of the Senate and Presidential Cabinet.
“Please be posting all of the flyers that we are putting up on the Facebook page,” said Kathleen Seibert, the SGA vice president of public relations, in reference to homecoming publicity. “Please push those out so we can get as big of a turn out as we can.”
Will Bowen, the SGA vice president of organizational affairs, urged student organizations to submit tailgate request spots to him for Family Weekend, which is taking place on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 across campus.
Desmond Thomas, the SGA vice president of student activities, said that applications for Student Activities Council are open all year and that students interested in applying should reach out to him. He added that several JSU events had to be rescheduled and that October would be an event-filled month.
“By the end of this semester, everything that’s tornado related, except for the new buildings, will be done,” said Ulises Herrera, the SGA president.
Herrera went on to say that two committees are searching for a new dean for the School of Business and Industry and the School of Health Professions and Wellness. He stated that the goal is to have both positions hired before the end of the semester and for them to take their positions in January.
Jerod Sharp, the SGA vice president of student senate, announced that applications for homecoming are listed on the JSU website under ‘SGA forms’ and that he wants to push “more than ten guys participating in the homecoming showcase.”
Photo courtesy of Grace Cockrell/JSU