SGA Senators get down to business

Kate Baxendale

The Student Government Association held its Inaugural Orientation and Training Banquet at the Student Union Aug. 26.

President Benjamin Campero of the RooSERVE slate along with Executive Vice President Parker Webb, Administrative Vice President Kate Corwin and Comptroller Makayla Maslanka regulated the evening’s proceedings.

Mel Tyler, vice chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, stressed his open-door policy.

“I’m always going to be transparent in what I do,” he said. “There are no hidden agendas.”

Student Government Advisor and Director of the Office of Student Involvement Angie Cottrell said it is a “fail” when there is no business to discuss at the SGA meetings.

Cottrell introduced members of the UMKC staff and administration, who each explained their role on campus. The staff and administration reminded the student senators of the responsibility the role entails.

After dinner was provided, the SGA representatives listed the expectations for the student senators. Senators must provide reports at every meeting from each of their respective council. Attending meetings without the reports constitutes as an absence. Senators are expected to dress in business casual attire for SGA meetings and events.

As outlined in the UMKC Student Government Handbook, senators must attend all meetings, be involved with the council they represent, follow Robert’s Rules of Order, be professional and understand the SGA constitution.

Cottrell explained how Robert’s Rules of Order works, reviewing key terminology and presenting an example resolution for the senators to practice. According to Robert’s Rule of Order, it is a recognized guide to running meetings and conferences effectively and fairly.

Student Activity Fee Committee representatives are required to wear the official SGA polo distributed at the orientation. SAFC has a set of bylaws representatives must follow. The committee meets twice per month to make allocation recommendations to the chancellor.

Campero announced the need to improve the SGA brand, solve campus textbook issues and increase the professionalism of SGA.  Campero mentioned the Tobacco-Free Campus Policy and the Gender Neutral Housing Resolution, which both passed Senate last year.

Working on the SGA brand includes sending representatives to student organization meetings and increasing collaboration between student organizations and the appropriate academic unit, Campero said.

The Student Senate consists of Webb, Corwin, Maslanka and two representatives from each divisional council: Arts & Sciences, the BlochSchool, School of Education, School of Nursing, School of Medicine, School of Law, School of Computing and Engineering, School of Biological Sciences, Conservatory, School of Dentistry, School of Graduate Studies and the School of Pharmacy.

“We [senators] are basically the voice for our particular school,” Student Senator  Miller Bogart of the School of Pharmacy said. “We attend the SGA meetings and we go back and report about what is going on, then we get people’s opinions.”

SGA’s new policies regarding professionalism and responsibility were at the forefront of the agenda, and the RooSERVE slate plans to continue the strict enforcement of these policies throughout the year.