The 68th General Assembly of the SGA met at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, for the first time this fall semester. The meeting began with APSU’s new athletic director, Derek van der Merwe, speaking about his new role and feelings towards being at a new school.

“APSU is doing great things,” van der Merwe said. He said he is excited for the “changes” happening here and that it is “an honor and a privilege” to work for APSU.

“I love working with students and also student athletes,” van der Merwe said. His duty, he said, is “to build a pride in what APSU stands for.”

This particular meeting had 100 percent attendance, every senator and justice seat was filled. Topics brought up included upcoming SGA freshman and graduate elections, G.H.O.S.T. and T.I.S.L., which is a way for college students to help influence the state of Tennessee’s legislation by debating and voting on bills.

SGA President Mike Rainier updated members on recent news such as new dorms, President Obama praising APSU for its Degree Compass and recognizing SGA member of the Summer, Brena Andring.

Later, five new senators were appointed in a unanimous approval. These members took the oath of office, led by the SGA chief justice. Newly appointed positions were voted on, as well as the speaker pro tempore and parliamentarian positions. The SGA has not yet responded as of press time to the email requesting the names and positions of the new appointees.

Announcements included Mudbowl applications, which are now available to the student body, and SGA elections. A record of 40 freshmen have applied to be in SGA, which will fill five freshmen senator seats. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Sept. 4.

The SGA is also preparing for the second annual Academic Integrity Week, which will feature “Dough Not Cheat,” where members give out doughnuts, coffee and information about plagiarism.

Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Gregory Singleton, the faculty adviser for the SGA, announced that Mudbowl is happening in “one month, seven hours, twenty seven minutes, and fifty two seconds.” Preparation for this event is currently taking place.

Singleton also spoke about college enrollment in Tennessee. All colleges in Tennessee have had losses in enrollment ,according to Singleton, but APSU, alongside Tennessee Technical University, has not been as heavily impacted, said Singleton. Singleton reported that, as of this morning, APSU enrollment is up from last year by 1.12 percent.