SGA considers eliminating signature requirement

To be a member-at-large of Student Government Association, a candidate must gather at least 50 student signatures. As the positions move up the hierarchy, more signatures are required.

Attorney General Jerry Boyd brought up a resolution designed by the Rules Committee to require faculty recommendation letters rather than student signatures. After nearly 20 minutes of discussion, the general assembly moved to postpone the resolution indefinitely.

In the meeting, Attorney General Jerry Boyd said the proposal requires a letter of recommendation from university faculty, staff or administration. The resolution eliminates paper applications and confines all material to OrgSync.

He said freshman applicants would be the only candidates to still obtain signatures rather than letters of recommendation.

“(When obtaining signatures from students) they don’t ask what for. They rarely ask what you’re going to do. We vote on (candidates) here, and we’re the representatives of the students,” Boyd said.

He said obtaining faculty recommendation indicates professionalism, as the actions of SGA often have to be passed by those faculty or administration members.

Graduate member-at-large Dwayne Smith questioned the rights of the students if faculty were to dominate the application process.

“Students need to represent the constituents,” he said. “Isn’t it the right of the students to choose their representatives?”

Smith agreed oftentimes, students who sign the election packets don’t care, but he said eliminating those signatures isolates non-members from their government.

“In general, getting the signatures wasn’t hard,” he said. “At the same time, I was able to socialize and talk to graduate students.”

Chief Financial Officer Aaron McCollugh said as much as he doesn’t like the signatures, SGA shouldn’t eliminate them.

“The worst part is the miniscule fact of it,” he said. “50 signatures (are) .5 percent of the student body. You’d really be needing to get a thousand signatures to really be impactful.”

Alex Hoffmann, administrative vice president for Archie’s Army, said changing the signature could start a dangerous cycle.”

“You’d get to the point where the only opinion would be the people in SGA. Once you have one round of people who’ve only got recommendations and no input beyond those recommendations…It would be staff, faculty, administration and us in SGA. The students we’re representing would have no say.”

The general assembly voted for the document to be “postponed indefinitely.”

The motion kills the document and cannot be brought back up unless a member writes a new resolution.