As Student Association (SA) President Hunter Koch’s administration prepares for its first full semester in place, several changes to the association have been announced.
Over the summer, SA performed its regular charter review, which takes place every four years. Pending a vote by the student body in September and Board of Control review in October, a change to term limits, quorum and voting rules for the association will go into effect.
SA representatives would no longer be limited to four one-year terms. The president would still be limited to two one-year terms.
“We’ve had a hard time filling the association in previous years, and because of how well our graduate programs are doing, there are a lot of students who would stay here for more than four years,” Koch said. “Or, some people need five years to get done. So, why would we want to knock them out?”
Instead of needing 75 percent of association representatives present at a session for a vote to take place, only 50 percent plus one would need to be present to make quorum.
“It’s very difficult sometimes to get 75 percent of people in a room, so changing that to the state language just makes sense,” Koch said. “We’ve also modified a little bit of the voting rules to go with that, so we make sure that a majority of the whole body is voting for something for it to pass.”
To pass, a vote will still need support from a majority of the association, not just those representatives present at a given session.
Koch has also announced the addition of four new campus advocate positions to the executive cabinet.
These advocates will each prioritize a major campus initiative. The campus menstrual hygiene pilot program will provide free menstrual products in several of SVSU’s busiest bathrooms.
“We’re targeting five to six high-traffic women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms across campus, and we hope to expand by the end of the year,” said Speaker of the Association Nora Lipetzky. “We put aside $2,000 to pay for pads and tampons, and we hope to find more sustainable options in the future.”
Another of the campus advocates will tackle environmental issues at SVSU. When he spoke at the Fresh Start orientation on Friday, Aug. 24, Koch announced his goal of SVSU becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
“We want to make a big environmental impact here at SVSU,” Koch said. “We want to make sure we are taking bold steps to move forward on that.”
The two other new campus advocates will focus on academics and supporting this year’s Cardinal Climate Survey.
This will also be the first year since 2003 that the SA-sponsored Battle of the Valleys charity drive will not have an official competing rival school, which had been Grand Valley State University (GVSU) until GVSU withdrew from the competition.
While Koch is actively seeking a new rival for 2020, for now they are focused on supporting this year’s charity partner, Midland’s The ROCK Center for Youth Development.
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