Article Originally Published by Brooke Colombo on North Texas Daily
The Student Government Association denied one senator applicant and accepted another, drawing concerns from Vice President Deana Ayers about senator recruitment and SGA’s reputation at Wednesday’s senate meeting.
The Senate currently has 25 vacant seats after the recent approval of the College of Business senator Taylor Jordan and Ayers said the Senate has had difficulty reaching quorum to hold meetings.
After senators voted to deny the other applicant at the meeting, Ayers told senators they needed to be more diligent in recruiting new senators.
“I understand it’s a big time commitment and a lot of people don’t know what being a senator entails,” Ayers said. “For me, the big part of recruitment has been showing people Senate does something and then people will join us. We haven’t done the first part, so we can’t do the second.”
Ayers said they were disappointed in the senator’s discussions on the approval of senate applicants but they are anticipating improvement.
“This is a really empty room for having 45 seats,” Ayers said. “I’m really expecting to have a lot of senate appointments that are referred by sitting senators in the next couple of weeks.”
Ayers asked senators to meet in groups and discuss how they can improve SGA’s recruitment. College of Education senator Victory Nwabufo said SGA’s reputation might be affecting their ability to recruit new senators, rather than their outreach.
“It’s like even if you do get the information, it’s up to what everyone thinks of SGA [when deciding] if they want to join the organization or not,” Nwagufo said. “I don’t want to say what we’re putting out there is negative, but what other people who are not in SGA are putting out about SGA is not super positive.”
Outreach director Allison Quisenberry said she thought senators not being present at and involved in events also impacted their ability to connect with the student body, citing the minimum wage town hall’s low attendance.
“If we want students to attend our [events] and we want students to be involved, they need to see our faces,” Quisenberry said. “If we’re having an event and all of the executive board is there, but not anyone else from SGA and they don’t see any [senators], I think that also contributes to people not getting involved. If students want to come to these events, but you don’t want to and you’re a part of SGA, that’s a problem.”
With senators and executives bringing up questions of SGA’s image and relationship with students, Ayers said they wanted people to know the organization is not purposely trying to exclude people when they vote to deny senator applicants.
“If anybody watched the livestream or were sitting in here today, I just want to reemphasize that we’re not an elitist organization,” Ayers said. “We’re going to be working on our image when it comes to making our organization as inclusive as possible.”
Featured Image: CLASS Senator Michael Luecke asks a question to new prospective senator who was not selected for the position on Feb. 13, 2020. Image by John Anderson
Source: North Texas Daily