Members of the Accountability Review Board and other students of SGA proposed a bill that included two new ARB positions, a Research Coordinator and a Student Leadership Advocate.
To pass, the bill needed two-thirds of the votes from the Student Senate. When the bill was first voted on at the Student Senate meeting, it did not pass. After a few improvements and discussions regarding the changes, the bill was passed at the next meeting.
For people unfamiliar with the role of the Accountability Review Board, their role is to hold SGA members accountable. The ARB makes sure that SGA members are completing their meeting minutes and events. If they fail to do so, then they will be met with fines or other penalties. According to Keri Lewis, “The SGA administrative assistant…is required by the ARB to hold clubs accountable. Part of the admin assistant ARB requirements include confirming communication with clubs, holding meetings with club leaders once per semester, tracking club finances, club constitutions and other documents. The ARB does keep clubs accountable; clubs submit items to [the] ARB via the administrative assistant.”
Connor Hudson-Bryant, Junior Class rep of the ARB, went into more depth about the new positions. He described the Research Coordinator, saying, “There were issues earlier this semester concerning the diversity of the student body present at our events. However, we don’t have the stats on the demographics of who attended these events. It would be the Research Coordinator’s job to find that hard information. We felt it might be helpful in increasing student awareness and event attendance.”
In describing the role of the Student Leadership Advocate, Bryant said, “We figured we needed to address the turnover issues in SGA. There weren’t many class council members returning, because too many responsibilities led to student burnout. We figured this person could provide a support system for the members in SGA and be a bridge for them to Brickley if they needed counseling.”
Kirsten North, Student Director of Financial Services, was present during the meeting and revealed the reasoning behind why the Student Leadership Advocate position did not have the support of the majority.
North said, “There was a lack of clarity. It was unclear what it would be like. We also felt that we already have similar resources offered on campus.” North believed the idea of a Research Coordinator was a welcomed position to this college, saying, “It was something really unique, and we are in need of it. Nothing like it has been established on campus yet.”
Chris Estep, Director of Publications, discussed the changes made to the bill after it did not pass. “After the first student senate meeting, the Vice President (Kirsten North) and I met with the President-Elect (Monica Ly) to discuss her concerns about the part of the proposal that involved the Student Leadership Advocate.”
Estep stated that all involved were open to changing the original proposal. It was decided that there would be two Advocates: one male and one female. It was also agreed upon to change the language of the Advocate’s role so that there was an emphasis on connecting leaders to other resources on campus.
Estep describes why it was so important that this bill was passed, “As someone who’s served in different SGA capacities for four years, I care immensely about making sure that we address the problem of student leader burnout on our campus.”
Both positions will take effect next year. SGA is doing their part in representing students in the most effective way possible. Specific needs were identified, and now there are positions in place to help meet those needs.