The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

SGA rejects proposed senatorship resolution

In a rare rejection of a proposed SGA resolution, SGA Joint Board voted 14-5 last week not to pass a resolution that would have given off-campus students a fourth SGA senator.

SGA’s Reform Committee proposed, “The Resolution Concerning the Addition of a fourth Senator to OCCO/OCNCO.” They were charged by a joint board resolution last fall to consider how off-campus students are represented, according to the Joint Board minutes from last week.
Currently there is one main problem with off-campus representation. According to SGA President Harry Krejsa ’10. The ratio of students to senators for the off-campus cluster is significantly higher than any other cluster, according to statistics compiled by Reform Committee.

The rule dictates that of the three off-campus senators, at least one must live in each college-owned housing and non-college-owned housing. Last fall, the three candidates with the most votes all lived in non-college-owned housing, according to Krejsa. In accordance with the rule, only two of them could be senators. Krejsa suggested that this may have inspired the talk about reforming off-campus representation.

According to Liting Cong ’11, a senator from off-campus who sits on Reform Committee and VPAA Elect, the Reform Committee focused on under-representation.

“The basic point is to get the numbers right,” Cong said.

Alex White ’12, a senator from East Campus who also sits on the Reform Committee, further explained their reasoning.

“It didn’t directly address the other problem of the distinction between college-owned and non-college-owned,” White said. “We thought that it went a lot better this semester because election board made it really clear… someone from both has to be seated.”

Joint Board decided that the solution in its current state did not do enough to address both problems, according to Krejsa.

“People didn’t want to say, ‘No, this isn’t a problem worth fixing,’” Krejsa said. “But they did say, ‘We don’t think this will solve the problems.’”

SGA Administrative Coordinator (AC) Ethan Struby ’10 voted against the resolution.

“Even if there is a problem, I don’t know what a good solution is,” Struby said, “I’m not sure that adding a senator is really going to help anything.”

In his role as AC, Struby worked with Reform Committee to craft the resolution as charged by Joint Board. However, he personally does not support a change.

“I’m not in favor of combining the clusters…because I think they have distinct enough interests that they deserve at least one senator,” Struby said. “It’s not a cultural thing…one is directly under the jurisdiction of Residence Life.”

Another concern with the proposal is that it would represent study abroad students as much as on-campus students, which some students are against, according to Krejsa. But he does not see clumping students abroad with off-campus senators as a problem.

“They’re only gone for a semester, they’re going to come back,” Krejsa said. “There are actions that Joint Board takes that will affect them after that one semester.”

Some students stay involved regardless while they are off-campus, according to Cong.

“I just got an e-mail from a student who is currently studying in Germany… asking me about the printing issue,” Cong said.
Reform Committee and Joint Board do not have enough time to approve a new resolution this year, according to White and Struby. However, this Reform Committee will write a list a ideas that next semester’s can work with, according to Struby.

White predicts that based on the discussion in Joint Board, that next year’s proposal might combine off-campus housing completely and add a fourth senator.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *