The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

SGA announces election procedures

SGA President Zaira Rodriguez. Photo by Melody Mendoza.

 

The Student Government Association met 4:30 p.m. Feb. 10 in Room 304 of Main Campus Building to discuss election procedures, open forums and a need for a new weekly meeting time.

SGA ELECTIONS / IMPORTANT DATES:

March 5: Application Entries Open at 8 a.m
March 9: Application Entries Close at 5 p.m.
March 19: Campaigning Starts
March 26: Voting Begins
March 30: Campaigning Ends/Voting Ends

Elections for new SGA members will take place the first week of March. The cutoff date is 5 p.m March 9 and campaigning begins March 19.

Candidates are given a runoff packet detailing the rules and regulations for campaigning.

“It lets them know the policies regarding everything from posting fliers and posters around campus to how much money they can spend on their campaign,” SGA President Zaira Rodriguez said.

Candidates have four days to run for a position, and all campaign postings must be removed March 30, Rodriguez said.

Voting begins at 8 a.m. March 26. Student voters are required provide a student ID.

Results will be tallied and posted online immediately afterward. Before the results are posted, the winner will be notified and asked again if they intend to hold office, Rodriguez said.

Open Positions:

  • President
  • Vice president
  • Secretary
  • Student organization liaison
  • Treasurer
  • Senator Pro Tempore
  • Parliamentarian
  • Historian
  • Senators (four from each school — the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and School of Education and Kinesiology)

Commitment, Rodriguez said, is important. “[Candidates] are going to have to be flexible,” she added.

She said that students considering running for a position with SGA need to be aware of the time investment involved. She recommended students with already full schedules should probably reconsider.

Two hours per week are required of executives for volunteer service. For senators, one hour per week is required. These hours must completed outside of members’ required events and meetings.

SGA Secretary Jennifer Faubion. Photo by Melody Mendoza. 

Rodriguez added that because Texas A&M-San Antonio is still a start up campus, SGA positions are not paid.

Rodriguez said she was unsure whether Texas A&M-College Station compensates members of its Student Government  through a tuition payment model.

In the meeting, she said, “The president usually receives a full tuition, the vice president gets 75 percent of tuition, the executives 50 percent, and senators 25 percent.”

A&M-College Station’s SGA office confirmed members do not receive tuition benefits for holding a position.

“All of the positions are unpaid,” said Daniel Gutierrez, an industrial distribution junior and diversity commissioner for A&M-College Station’s SGA.

“The students get experience that they use in their resumes,” confirmed Leo Zingg, a general studies major and Fish Aides intern.

Fish Aides is a freshman leadership organization within student government designed to develop Texas A&M’s leaders of tomorrow, according to the organization’s website.

Like A&M-College Station’s SGA members, students at this University run for experience.

Rodriguez said members do not receive [tuition] benefits for their work, but their impact within the campus reflects the concerns of the student body.

Senator Kevin Washington said the role of SGA is important.

“We serve as the ears and eyes for an administration that needs feelers to know where the biggest concerns are,” Washington said. “It’s definitely a labor of love.”

New meeting time, Saturdays at noon

With a roster of 11 members, only Rodriguez, Secretary Jennifer Faubion and Washington were able to attend last week’s meeting.

“The meeting times usually change depending on everyone’s schedule,” Rodriguez said. “However, for the past two semesters we’ve had them on Fridays.”

Rodriguez said because of full school and work schedules, many SGA members were having difficulty attending the meetings held 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. every other Friday.

The new meeting time is every other Saturday at noon, starting Feb. 25.

“It’s just the way everyone’s schedule was set out this semester,” Rodriguez said. “We knew we were going to need another time change.”

SGA members were emailed surveys to determine availability. Once the results are collected the new time will be posted on SGA’s website, which is currently under construction.

“We just want to be flexible with everyone’s schedule,” Rodriguez said. “Once we reach a decision we can move forward.”

SGA plans to amend the new meeting time in their constitution, which was completed and signed Nov. 4, 2011.

SGA Senator Kevin Washington. Photo by Melody Mendoza. 

Open student forums
Community forums open to all students are a top priority for SGA this spring, Rodriguez said.  Forums will take place on both campuses and will cover a variety of topics concerning student issues.

“We try to hold [forums] once a month,” Rodriguez said. “But, because of other events that will be running alongside them, we’re going to have to just wait and see if that holds up.”

In  December and May, forums are formatted as open Q&A sessions, geared toward upcoming graduates who have concerns or questions about graduation.

Rodriguez said the forum turnouts are very high, jokingly crediting this to the food that is sometimes served.

 

Community service
Senators will again participate in Jagiantic, a community service event held in collaboration with City Year San Antonio.

Rodriguez has not confirmed a date.

Rodriguez said SGA will be assigned a location on the West Side to refurnish places like homes and playgrounds that are torn down. The event is organized by City Year’s corp member volunteers.

Washington said it’s a blend between habitat for humanity and community service.

“It’s reinvigorating the community,” Washington added.

Rodriguez said City Year staff members “eat, sleep and breathe community service.”

The University and its advisory organizations have ongoing collaborations with the local non-profit, established by University President Ferrier, the organization’s first president.

SGA’s next meeting is noon Feb. 25 in Room 304 of Main Campus.

About the Author

Juan Garcia
Juan Garcia
Juan Garcia is the Public Editor for The Mesquite. Previously, he reported on the growth and development of the University’s Student Government Association. A communication-journalism major with a minor in English, Juan is employed part-time as a student assistant to the Director of Campus Safety and Security at A&M-San Antonio. He is a 2001 Lytle High School graduate and attended Palo Alto College where he received associate’s degrees in English and liberal studies in 2007. Juan is the father of a 3-year-old daughter

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