SGA works to improve attendance

April 19, 2012


Staff Reporter


The April 10 meeting of the Student Government Association started 12 minutes late.


At 6 p.m., president Clint Carlisle instructed members to pull out their cellphones and start calling absent people.


“We are not starting until we meet quorum,” he said.


Quorum is the minimum number of senators attending a meeting in order for voting to be allowed.


In the SGA’s case, that number is 20, and bills can only be voted on when 20 senators are present.


For the first time in weeks, at 6:12 p.m., the SGA met quorum.


Shane Rich, vice president, pounded the gavel and began the meeting.


After announcing a new possible date for their banquet and going into detail about what The Big Event would entail, they got to old business.


Under old business were four things that had been waiting for weeks to be considered by SGA senators.


The first was the spring budget for SGA, which passed without any objections.


The second and third were matching fund requests for the Society of Women Engineers and Engineers Without Borders, respectively. Those were grouped together and passed unanimously.


The last was Bill 11-12.3, which was not going to be voted on without discussion.


The bill, written by cabinet member Blake Spears, proposed to spend $1,800 out of the Senate Project Fund to purchase iClickers for the SGA so voting would be faster and more accurate at meetings.


“Passing out 30 slips of paper for every vote can get confusing and disorderly,” Carlisle said. “Also, vote counts are available immediately instead of wasting time tabulating slips of paper in the middle of a meeting.”


Spears, when asked to make a comment about the bill he wrote, declined an interview.


Allison East, senator and incoming vice president, raised her hand when Rich placed the bill up for discussion.


“This is spending $1,800 of the student’s money for SGA, basically so we don’t have to raise our hands,” East said. “We can’t raise our hands and say what we believe in? We are better than that. You can count 33 hands.”


Another member spoke up about how all the other bills passed this year have been for the SGA, and not the students.


Other members like the secrecy of the clicker system.


When a student from the first row spoke up about impeachments and how word gets out about what you vote for with hand raising, College of Liberal Arts Senator Austin Vining spoke up.


“We can always use secret ballot for impeachments,” he said.


Carlisle stood up and addressed the concern, deciding that impeachments will be made through secret ballot.


East’s words still rang through George T. Madison Hall, Room 105. She spoke up about the possibility of media attention directed toward SGA


“Do you really want The Tech Talk to have to report that we passed a bill like this?” East said. “Or Tech TV? What does that say about us as an organization?”


Finally, Bill 11-12.3 was up for a vote.


Hands raised and hands fell as the executives in the front of the room counted them with quiet earnest, perhaps for the last time.


“Bill 11-12.3 was not approved,” Rich declared to the room.


A sigh flowed through the room as the question of spending $1,800 of the student’s money on the iClickers for SGA voting slowly disappeared.


“The purpose of bills is to improve the student body,” Carlisle said. “I do not believe this particular bill fit the scope of that mission.”


Email comments to hms017@latech.edu.


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