SGA brings light to differences with administration

By Charlene Divino

October 31, 2007

Open discussion at Oct. 22 Student Government Association senate meeting brought to light many issues of contention between administration and members within SGA . The issue of SGA t-shirts was first introduced by SGA president Natalie Bailey during the executive board reports in the opening of the meeting. According to Bailey, each fall semester the SGA prints t-shirts as a marketing tool for recruiting new students and creating interest in the organization.  This fall however, the request was denied by SGA adviser and interim assistant provost and vice president of academic and student affairs Dr. Cindy Heider based on a standing policy which states advisers must approve organization expenditures which exceed $1000. The proposed t-shirts would have had an image of a closed fist with pinky and index finger extended, similar to the Texas University “Hook ‘em Horns” gesture and the phrase “SGA Rocks.” Heider stated in the meeting that the request had been denied due to conflicting definitions of the proposed hand image, and because of confusion about the t-shirts having been for SGA week. “It has nothing to do with SGA week; that’s when we hand them out. I’ve said that repeatedly, and I don’t know why that concept hasn’t gotten through,” Bailey said. Dr.Heider clarified her stance on the issue, explaining the absence of an affiliation with an event was a problem. “You target market,” said Heider. “You tie it in with something to get the most for the money. You don’t just give away t-shirts- to give away t-shirts, that’s not good marketing. Another issue in open discussion was the question of Katy Schwartz scholarship support as SGA chief of staff which the senate has supported. Early this fall, Heider came across the absence of administrative approval for the new constitution which the SGA had voted to approve in April 06 rendering it invalid and forcing the SGA to revert to the old constitution which reduced Schwartz scholarship support from one third to one quarter. Schwartz addressed Heider directly at the meeting, “You vetoed this senate’s support of my scholarship when in fact I’m doing everything I should be paid one third tuition and fees for doing. If you want me under the old constitution, then my job diminishes. If you want the extra responsibilities, you can have them,” Shwartz said. “This senate supports me, and you clearly don’t.” Bailey believes that changes will be made to the way that SGA functions once meetings with Scanlon and Bragin have concluded. In response, Jasmine, president of MWSU chapter of the NAACP said, “No one is going to get anything done on campus. Our students are the ones suffering and that is totally and utterly wrong,” as she walked out of the meeting followed by three other SGA members.