Lively debate concerning SGA’s plans for the total solar eclipse occurring Aug. 21, 2017 took place at the meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
Tribunal Justice Jacob Robertson expanded upon his resolution from the previous week to provide special solar protective eye-wear for the proper viewing of the eclipse to students. Robertson also expanded upon plans to make the event more memorable, such as having an astronaut as a guest speaker and having NASA live-stream the event. Robertson said glasses are being provided for CMCSS schools but not for APSU.
What followed was a heated debate between senators and Dean of Students Greg Singleton regarding precedent and proper funding. Singleton said directly sponsoring an individual student organization sets a bad precedent, as it is something the SGA has never done before, and has refused to do so in prior years. Singleton also said there were no plans to bring a speaker to the eclipse event, to which Robertson argued the opposite. Singleton said it would be better for the event to be funded through the SOC.
“We can get the money from anywhere,” Robertson said. “I can make a phone call and within 10 minutes have $2,000, honestly. There is a symbolic element to this. So if you as an organization want to make the decision to recognize the importance, and just do a cool thing for the students.”
President Ryan Honea said it is important for SGA to work with the astronomy department and show commitment to students.
The lengthy exchanges led to Resolution No. 4 being tabled until the following meeting for further discussion.
SGA then voted to pass Resolution No. 5 for signage showing areas of APSU that still prohibit firearms.
Sen. Thomas then put forward four resolutions, Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6. Together, the Acts are called the “Murphy Finance Reform Acts.” They will be used to amend bylaws of the SGA constitution to require proper reports of expenditures exceeding certain amounts to be more transparent, as well as hold SGA properly accountable regarding spending. Act No. 5 would see a slight changing of the language in Section 1 of the SGA constitution. No. 6 would clarify the fiscal relationship between the SGA and the student organization council or SOC.
Sen. Erika Adams put forth Resolution No. 8 to reconsider the lack of tax-exemption when it comes to GAA, a certain type of graduate assistant that does not receive the same tax benefits as other types.
Resolution No. 7 introduced by Sen. Lillian Long, would require professors to upload grades to D2L for students to see in a timely manner.
SGA’s next meeting will be at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, in MUC room 305.