Rives provides riveting conversation
March 8, 2017
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Guest speaker, Joseph Rives, Vice President of Quad Cities and Planning started off the Western Illinois University Student Government Association (SGA) meeting by giving an overview about the schools strategic plan supplement.
“Our 10-year plan guides us, as a university, and as you look at that plan it’s very broad and very inclusive. It talks about almost everything at Western, via athletics, honors college or wherever your interest might be,” Rives said. “A ten-year plan, things change over time and sometimes you get things done, sometimes the world around you changes. So, what we started doing is doing annual plans to say, based on where we are now, where do we need to go forward. So higher values and higher education and the supplement don’t replace each other but they go together.”
Rives sent out a draft of the new plan to the Western Illinois University community last week and will be voted on at the March Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting.
Wil Gradle, Student Member to the Board of Trustees, said he read the draft and was extremely disappointed with it regarding the students’ voice.
“I felt that there wasn’t enough student input on it,” Gradle said. “The student input that we did provide, we felt that it wasn’t necessarily represented well in the plan itself. We wanted to voice some of those concerns and perhaps offer the draft of the plan some corrective action.”
There was a meeting held early this morning at 8 a.m. with students and the people of the strategic planning committee. Gradle said he encourages all students to voice their opinions and concerns about Western and to email him so he can let the Board of Trustees know.
Currently, the four Council on Student Activity Fees (CSAF) representatives are appointed for one academic year. SGA Bill 2016-2017.007, authored by John Kennealy, STU Senator, is stating that for the 2017- 2018 academic year two representatives will be appointed for a two-year term, and two for a one-year term. Every academic term after that, all representatives will be appointed for a two-year term.
“I am in favor of this. I am a secondyear member of CSAF,” said Academic Affairs Director Margaret Walsh. “It is very hard going into CSAF without previous knowledge. By doing it this way we at least have half of the students who do understand what’s going on.”
There was a similar bill passed last week during SGA stating for the 2017- 2018 academic year. One representative will be appointed for a two-year term, and another for one-year term. Every academic term after that, both representatives will be appointed for a two-year term.
It was questioned by IHC Senator Killian Tracey whether the bill was vetoed or not after President Dovile Svirupskaite said she might veto it based on the Chief of Staff, Grant Reed, not being on board with the plan.
“Pretty much what I decided was that I personally don’t necessarily agree but I think that it’s worth it to give it a shot,” Svirupskaite said. “Maybe this will be very successful next year, and there is no reason for me to veto it. I think it’s worth a shot and if something falls through next year where it doesn’t work, we can always change it back.”
The legislative body voted 24-5-0, passing the bill.
SGA Constitutional Amendment 2016-2017.007 states the responsibility of the Senate is to decide the rules and regulations of SGA. Author of the bill, Kennealy, said the Senate has to wait for approval of the president before making any decisions.
“I’m just eliminating the president from participating in (the vote),” Kennealy said. “So, it is solely up to the speakers of the senate to decide which senators go on which committees, which makes sense because it is the legislative body. As I understand, that’s should be how it happens anyway. Also, this will keeps us from getting a power hungry president.”
The legislative body voted unanimously passing the bill.
SGA hosts a State of the Student event annually and is asking to use $302 to be used for the promotional aspect of the event. The legislative body voted unanimously to pass the SGA Bill of Appropriation 2016- 2017.13 allowing $302 to be used for the event.
On April 5, SGA will attend the Student Advocacy Day in Springfield and is asking to use $1,000 from their budget for transportation. The SGA Bill of Appropriation 2016-2017.14. SGA was unanimously passed providing $1,000 for the trip.