The first meeting of the 2016-2017 session of SGA will meet on Sept. 31 following a year with a historically close election, high numbers of submitted legislation and issues with transparency.
The Spring 2016 Election for SGA president was the closest in APSU history. Ryan Honea was elected president over Faith Merriweather with a final vote count of 415-410. Jay Alvarez received 17 votes for president even though he was ineligible for the position
The other members of the SGA Executive council elected in the spring were Vice President Dylan Kellogg and Executive Secretary Blaine Gundersen. Honea appointed Chief Justice Lane Chisenhall to his position following the election.
During the 70th General Assembly of SGA, senators introduced 51 pieces of legislation and approved 41 of them. The number of introduced pieces of legislation is the highest recorded for a session on the SGA website, which has records as far back as the 2008-2009 session.
According to the SGA website, eight of the approved legislations have completed their goals, seven were rejected by the university, seven are awaiting implementation and 11 are currently uncategorized. SGA also received criticism from the student body for several large purchases made last year. SGA purchased the Gov’s Head logo placed on the side of the Caf for $5,700 and approved the purchase of up to $9,000 in TVs.
Following the purchases, legislation was introduced into the senate to create financial transparency in SGA. Nicknamed the Sunshine Act and authored by Sens. Jonathon Johnson and Peter Ponce, the proposed the resolution sought to have SGA publish its financial records monthly. During the debate over the resolution, Sen. Gundersen motioned to table the act and it never returned to the floor.
Sens. Kellogg and Johnson introduced a revised form of the Sunshine Act in the Spring 2016 semester with changes to the times SGA must publish its budget. The Senate approved the new legislation with a vote of 19 in favor of and none in opposition.
Honea plans to release SGA’s financial records on Sept. 15. “That’s the plan. It’s a lot to go through… but the budget should be done soon. I hope to have it out before [Sept. 15],” Honea said.
In the Fall 2015 semester, SGA enacted Resolution No. 8, which formally recommended the university lift its ban on skateboards and other wheeled transportation devices. The legislation, authored by Sen. Dominic Critchlow, won “Most Impactful Legislation” at SGA’s spring award ceremony.
Upcoming events for SGA include Fall Elections and the Mudbowl. Elections for Freshmen and Graduate Senate seats are from Sept. 6 to Sept. 8.