SGA passes resolution to revise senate apprenticeship program


Jared Casto

CAB shows the SGA senate a video that challenges the organization to a kickball game scheduled for 4:30 p.m. May 1 at the softball field.

The Marshall Student Government Association debated on and passed a resolution to revise the senate apprenticeship program during its Tuesday meeting.

The senate apprenticeship program has traditionally targeted first-time freshmen students with less than 12 credit hours. Currently, the program places students with existing SGA senators who are expected to mentor the apprentice.

President pro tempore Alex O’Donnell introduced a resolution aimed to restructure the current senate apprenticeship program.

O’Donnell’s resolution included changes such as a limit on apprentices to 15 first-time freshmen, a weekly course that would teach students leadership qualities as well as Robert’s Rules of Order and the addition of a final project that would exhibit the students’ understanding of Marshall’s SGA.

“These are the people who become the leaders of SGA,” O’Donnell said. “We really need to make sure that this program is well structured and able to provide leadership experience to the people who are in it.”

Senator Sophia Mills agreed with O’Donnell’s resolution and said a leadership class for new SGA members could increase involvement.

“It will get people more involved and give people the tools to do things like resolutions,” Mills said. “I don’t think SGA should be seen as something where you just come and sit here once a week. I think it should be more involved.”

Concerns were raised by the senate about only allowing first-time freshmen to take advantage of the weekly informational course and other resources supplied by the program. SGA advisor Matt James said freshmen students are not the only inexperienced individuals entering the organization.

“A first time freshman and a first time transfer student, maybe a senior, are going to be equally clueless,” James said.

Treasurer Matt Jarvis said the resolution was asking for too much sudden change within the program and requested that it be tabled for future review. Additionally, Jarvis said some of the proposed revisions to the program could result in less students joining SGA.

“My overarching concern with all of this is that this organization should never be difficult to get into,” Jarvis said. “If a student wishes to make a change, there should never be any obstacles in place.”

O’Donnell assessed the opinions of the senate members, noting the body seemed to be in favor of reforming the program, but more time could be needed to debate the specific details.

“There’s good parts of this that I think everyone agrees with,” O’Donnell said. “I think there’s parts, the structural things that I put on here just as a suggestion, that we still have to debate on.”

O’Donnell then referenced section 5a of the resolution, which reads “The curriculum will be approved each year by the Student Senate before the start of the Senate Apprenticeship program.”

O’Donnell said this section allows the senate to discuss specifics such as the time, date, curriculum and structure of the program during the summer rather than rush the resolution to completion by next week, the final meeting of student senate session 73.

“We don’t have to figure it out by next week,” O’Donnell said. “We can propose it in the first week of August or whenever our first meeting is and then we can move forward.”

The senate then decided to amend the resolution, removing references to specific dates, times and structures while retaining the principle ideas of the resolution. The senate also amended the resolution to open the program to 15 first-time senators rather than only first-time freshmen.

After over 30 minutes of debate and amendments, the resolution was approved.

Senator Nick Uliana addressed the senate with an update on the alcohol sales survey meant to gauge student opinion on allowing alcohol in the football stadium.

According to Uliana, the survey asks three questions: “Do you support the sale of alcohol at Joan C. Edwards Stadium?,” “Would you stay at Marshall University games if alcohol was served?” and “Would you support alcohol sales if you could not reenter once already admitted?”

“No matter what the outcome of this survey is, at least having this survey is incredibly important because it allows the students to have a voice,” Uliana said.

Uliana said ideally SGA would like to publish the results of the survey and later present them to the Marshall Board of Governors.

The senate also approved a resolution to allow veterans and those registered with TRIO Student Support Services to access early class registration in the same manner as honors students and athletes.

“This just expands it so that veterans and TRIO students can also access it so that they can better plan their schedules so they don’t have to conflict with work or family or anything like that,” O’Donnell said.

At the beginning of the meeting, Marshall’s Campus Activity Board challenged SGA to a competitive game of kickball. According to Jarvis, SGA’s kickball team will be named “Pitches be Trippin’,” while, CAB’s kickball name will be “Sons of Pitches.”

The CAB and SGA kickball game will take place at the softball field May 1 at 4:30 p.m.

Additionally, the senate approved a funding bill for the Society of Professional Journalists and funding bills for CRU, Student Ambassadors and the International Student Organization were sent to the finance committee.

Jared Casto can be contacted at [email protected]