BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20
On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Mount Holyoke’s Student Government Association (SGA) senators came together for their weekly senate meeting, spending most of the time voting on crucial issues for this upcoming semester.
After allowing students several weeks to apply for the position, senators had the opportunity to vote for the new SGA Secretary for this semester. The vote was between to three candidates: Junyi Chen ’22, Angelis Liriano ’22 and Gwyneth Spincken ’21. Each candidate stood up in front of senators and gave a brief speech about their qualification for the position.
After the short speeches, senators voted for the secretary of their choosing by submitting paper ballots. It was later announced that Liriano won the election and will serve as SGA secretary for the spring 2019 semester.
Senate then continued with a vote on two constitutional review issues presented by Chair of Committee, Sommer Byers ’21.
Byers started by explaining that the goal of the Constitutional Review Committee is to investigate and discuss current issues affecting the student body in order to present SGA’s constitutional adjustments. According to the current constitution, the Constitutional Review Committee convenes every other school year or as necessary to make updates to SGA’s constitution. The review committee is made up of four members, one of whom is the chair of Senate.
Byers further explained that recruiting members for the review board has been challenging; even though the opportunity was publicized to students through Committee Yourself Week, it garnered little student interest.
“Largely as a result of this, the committee has not convened this year,” said Byers.
Byers then presented two proposals to be voted on by Senators that would change the meeting year and the selection of members for the Constitutional Review Committee.
Senators voted to schedule the Constitutional Review Committee to convene next year, putting the committee on track to meet during the 2019-2020 academic year and again during the 2021-2022 academic year. Senators also voted to change the makeup of the Constitutional Review Committee rather than to continue to attempt recruiting members through Committee Yourself Week. With the new makeup of the Committee, proposed by Byers, members will be chosen from various SGA representatives — one hall senator, one organization senator, one E-board representative, a committee representative, one class board senator and one representative recruited through Committee Yourself Week.
“With the new task force in forming the Constitutional Review Committee, we wanted to make sure that the committee is representative of the SGA as a whole,” said Byers.
Senate wrapped up the night with a town hall debrief, discussing how town halls can be further productive and helpful for the community. Senators also broke down into their individual working groups to discuss overall group accountability guidelines for the rest of the semester.
The next Senate meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Blanchard Great Room.