Virtual events have become more incorporated into student life and engagement as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made waves throughout the nation.
In lieu of social distancing concerns, Govs have responded by making the commitment to wear masks and stay six feet apart.
When it comes to campus organizations, student leaders must make decisions with a mind of public safety. Yet, the aspect of public participation has been impacted by this.
The Student Government Association (SGA) has been one of the exemplary bodies on campus to show eagerness to come together while staying apart.
On Nov. 4, 2020, SGA senators proposed several pieces of legislation that will be voted on in the coming weeks. While Senate meetings are normally hosted on Wednesdays, Senators did not meet on Nov. 11 due to Veterans Day.
In the last meeting, multiple acts of legislation were proposed related to attendance at SGA meetings and events. Senator Elliot Reed, who submitted Act 5, proposed that virtual accommodations should be included for all Senate meetings with a ⅔ vote from senators.
In the current fall semester of 2020, senators have been meeting in session on Zoom. One senate meeting and other major events have been in person. However, the SGA has been offering a hybrid mix of events for students from all walks to participate.
Act 5 would ultimately enable senators to have the option of virtual attendance in lieu of public health concerns. Reed proposed the legislation to respond to the immediate concerns with the pandemic.
“Being able to reduce this exposure to others whenever it can be available will contribute to getting through these strange times faster and safer,” Reed said. “The idea is to completely take out the possibility of contracting sickness.”
The time of COVID-19 has also shown the convenience of technology. If passed, Reed’s legislation would enable senators to attend meetings with more flexibility.
“As someone who is from out of state, if I had a family emergency where I was home for a week, it provides me with the possibility of still attending a meeting while gone.” Reed emphasized his point stating, “The technology is here, why not make use of it?”
If passed, Reed’s legislation will immediately go into effect.