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SGA slowed by divided senate

Due to continuous debate on issues by the senate, the SGA meetings held every Monday at 8 p.m., which are supposed to only last an hour, have been running two hours long or more.
More than once, a meeting that was intended to end at 9 p.m. instead didn’t adjourn until 10 p.m. or later, including the most recent meeting held on Monday, because senators could not agree on an issue and could not accept a vote once it had been made.
More than one issue was voted on twice, and some were left unresolved. Also, several senators would raise their hands to deliver a “point of information,” only to drop snide comments to other senators.
A division of strongly opinionated senators seems to be the cause of these long debates, and Vice President Chris Nish was forced to use his gavel to quiet the room several times.
Charda Pearson, a former senator of the SGA, found the back-and-forth ranting so upsetting, she made a public announcement of how she felt at last Monday’s meeting.             The senate seemed to agree with her that the nonstop debating was standing in the way of progress.
“[I]t was obvious from an outsider’s perspective. When I walked in, there were two different sides in the room,” Pearson said in an email.
“It was even more obvious when it came time to vote on certain issues and it would take at least 30 minutes to vote on one issue because certain members of the senate would find ways to debate with one another.”
Pearson went on to say, “The meeting made me not want to come back to another SGA meeting because of the way it has taken a drastic change. It seems as though SGA is no longer about reaching out to the students, but more about the members of the senate bashing one another.”
Newly elected President Pro-Tempore Aaron Gibson also spoke of a certain incident where the SGA meeting held on Nov. 2 turned into a senate vs. executive board debate.
“Some of the senators had concerns about the punctuality of people in the senate and on the executive board…some senators brought it up and it got kind of back and forth.”
But Gibson went on to say, “I think it’s a healthy division. You have to have opposing ideas to get to the resolution sometimes…But it’s good that [Pearson] pointed that out because we need to be reminded that we’re here for the students and not for our own personal reasons.”
SGA’s meetings are open to all students and are held Mondays at 8 p.m. in the library auditorium next to the Internet Café.

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