SGA addresses problems with upperclassmen Senate elections

Jake Hawkins

Managing Editor

Next year’s Student Government Association is all set with 26 upperclassmen senators, but not without a few hiccups in the process.

Candidate for graduation and SGA President Josh Edge for the 2011-12 academic year, who oversaw the elections, originally contacted 27 students congratulating them on being nominated to the organization.

“It wasn’t a problem at first,” said rising senior and newly elected SGA President Charli Fant, “because one person immediately dropped senate.”

However, a problem soon became apparent when Fant and other newly-elected SGA officers realized that one of the remaining 26 senators who were sworn in received fewer votes than rising junior Sydney Katz, who wasn’t sworn in.

“We don’t have protocol for this,” said Fant, who then explained that the student without enough votes willfully stepped down to allow Katz to be sworn in.

“I think we handled it appropriately,” said Fant.

The mistake was described as an oversight and Fant said that next year’s election will require more careful eyes to check names before anyone is sent.

In an email to The Rambler, Edge failed to acknowledge any discrepancy in the election he oversaw.

This was the first year that students were allowed to vote on their personal computers through a Surveymonkey link sent campus wide.

SGA didn’t release the name of the student incorrectly sworn in.

 

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SGA welcomes undergraduates for symposium

Jake Hawkins

Managing Editor

Last weekend, Transylvania University welcomed students from surrounding institutions to a research symposium sponsored by the Student Government Association. The symposium, which brought many disciplines together, highlighted undergraduate research across some of Kentucky’s private colleges and universities.

There were 10 student presentations during the event, five from Centre College, one from Georgetown College, another from Berea College and three from Transy. After students presented, there was an hour devoted to poster presentations from various students.

Pictured left, sophomore Abby Elliston presents a poster for SGA’s Intercollegiate Research Symposium last Saturday.

The event’s coordinator, sophomore Kayarash Karimian, said the idea for the event was spawned from collaboration with Dr. Kirk Abraham, associate professor of exercise science, and Dr. Bob Rosenberg, associate professor of chemistry.

“Last year, SGA’s academic affairs committee put on the first undergraduate research symposium at Transylvania. The event consisted of about four student presentations and some posters. This fall, Drs. Abraham and Rosenberg approached us and asked if we could combine our event with the arts and research forum, which has mostly consisted of students majoring in the sciences,” said Karimian. “After attending two national conferences and a symposium at (North Carolina State University) over the summer as an undergraduate researcher, I was inspired to take the ideas for this event to new levels.”

Karimian made the symposium the main project for SGA’s academic affairs committee.

To select participants, SGA contacted Centre, Berea and Georgetown professors with requests for student submissions. The applications were judged based on the quality of the abstracts that were submitted, according to Karimian.

There are plans to host the symposium next year, and SGA has already begun thinking of ways it can be improved.

“I know that we will definitely change the overall timetable of the event,” Karimian said. “(Next year) we hope to initiate the event-planning process five months before the event. Furthermore, rather than sending applications as email attachments we hope to work with the (information technology) department to create a website for the event.”

SGA votes to end curfew

by Jake Hawkins
Managing Editor

Transylvania University’s Student Government Association unanimously approved a proposal last night that seeks to eliminate curfew for all campus residence halls, save for first-years who opt into a curfew policy.

The proposal, which will be sent to members of the administration, seeks to align Transy with other benchmark institutions by eliminating curfew while maintaining designated quiet hours and preventing cohabitation.

Cohabitation is defined by the proposal as a “student who is not assigned to a room (that) occupies the room for successive nights,” when a roommate or member of the residential community complains or whenever a visitor is storing property in a room.

The proposal also recommends quiet hours begin at midnight on weeknights and 2:00 a.m. on weekends, and it suggests similar measures to enforce quiet time that exist currently.

Senior Josh Edge, SGA president, expects the proposal to be approved by administration with no problems.

“All the major players support this, so it will happen,” Edge said during last night’s SGA meeting.

SGA acknowledged in the proposal that a curfew makes it easier to reduce noise and cohabitation, but it requested that the university address those issues “directly, rather than simply avoiding the issue with a curfew restriction.”

The proposal recommends that the policy change go into effect for the 2012-2013 school year.

SGA makes strides, shares future plans

by Laura Miller
Staff Writer

*Editors Note:A source The Rambler consulted for some information was incorrect, causing us to pass on inaccurate information to you in the article below. Please note, the curfew is currently 2:00 a.m. everyday. As always, The Rambler strives to always bring you accurate information and anytime a mistake is made we examine the situation and make every effort to assure it doesn’t happen again.

With almost a term complete, this year’s Student Government Association, under the leadership of President Josh Edge, a senior, has made measurable accomplishments.

Above, Clay-Davis lobby is the only 24-hour quiet study location on campus. In the future, SGA aims to extend the hours of the library and also is working to arrange study space in Back Cafeteria during finals week.

One of SGA’s current goals is to re-evaluate and propose changes to Transylvania’s curfew policy.  Junior Charli Fant, SGA vice president, took the issue to the SGA executive council after multiple students petitioned her.  The goal of any proposal, she said, would be to increase visitation time while maintaining a good academic environment as well.

The last change in the curfew policy, enacted during the 2010-2011 school year, eliminated curfew on Friday and Saturday nights and extended it until to 2 a.m. all other days. The change came after a similar initiative mounted by SGA.*

“Transy has stayed very conservative about its curfew policy, and we’d like to see that changed,” said Fant. “(The current policy) is an outdated policy, frankly.”

SGA intends to select a committee to address the issue by the end of this week.  Fant will head the committee and begin meeting with its members before winter break.  Although any approved policy change would most likely not go into effect until next year, Fant would like to have at least three options to submit to the administration within the first few months of next term.

Additionally, at the request of President R. Owen Williams, SGA has been looking into ways to increase school spirit at Transy.  Aware of the low attendance at school events such as academic forums, plays and sporting events, Williams is working with Edge and junior Hannah Johnson, SGA student affairs committee chairperson, to find creative ways to increase interest and involvement in such activities.

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First-year SGA members sworn in

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The 10 newly elected first-year senators in the Student Government Association were officially inducted last night at the organization’s weekly meeting. A total of 22 first-year students ran for office, which is more than the yearly average, making this year’s elections more competitive.

“I think having a whole week of orientation was good. People got to know each other more, which I think made them feel more comfortable representing each other on campus,” said senior Josh Edge, SGA president.

The newly elected senators are eager to start in their new positions.

“I feel privileged that my classmates respected me enough to allow me to represent them, and I hope to convey their wishes and concerns to the best of my ability,” said first-year Tyler Baker.

Related stories: Edge hopes to ’empower others to act’, Restructuring SGA Constitution: 5 changes proposed.

Edge’s goal becomes reality

by Josh Travis
Staff Writer

Presidents and leaders from various Transylvania student organizations, as well as President R. Owen Williams, met yesterday afternoon to commence a newly formed campus initiative entitled the President’s Circle.

Senior Josh Edge, Student Government Association president, created the forum in hopes that it will set up a bridge between the different organizations, allowing for easier communication and encouraging them to become more involved with one another’s events.

“I want the group to be able to come together and offer up solutions, where brainstorming can happen, and I hope it will facilitate that type of thinking,” Edge said.

Campus leaders who attended agreed.
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Rafskeller Makeover Looks Likely

by Kim Rodgers
Staff

The Rafskeller may soon be history. Or at least, everything about the Raf except its name may be renovated as early as the summer of 2010. Read more of this post

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