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Thomas looks to SGA for help

President+Jack+Thomas+%28left%29+addresses+the+Student+Government+Association+about+goals+for+the+academic+year.+Speaker+of+the+Senate+Patrick+Quinlan+addresses+last+week%27s+quorum+issue.
President Jack Thomas (left) addresses the Student Government Association about goals for the academic year. Speaker of the Senate Patrick Quinlan addresses last week's quorum issue.

President Jack Thomas (left) addresses the Student Government Association about goals for the academic year. Speaker of the Senate Patrick Quinlan addresses last week's quorum issue.

Angel Strack/ Courier Staff

Angel Strack/ Courier Staff

President Jack Thomas (left) addresses the Student Government Association about goals for the academic year. Speaker of the Senate Patrick Quinlan addresses last week's quorum issue.

Isaiah Herard, Assistant News Editor

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Yesterday, President Jack Thomas addressed the Student Government Association (SGA) with an update following the Illinois state budget impasse, as he opened SGA’s meeting as the guest speaker.

 In his speech, Thomas delivered a brief update regarding the state of Western Illinois University and the goals he looks to accomplish with the help of SGA for the 2017-2018 academic school year.

“There are two major things that we are focusing on at this university and those two things are the budget and the enrollment,” Thomas said. “Right now, we have received for FY-18 7.7 million dollars and for FY-17 we received 6.8 million dollars and we received the 11 million dollars for MAP funding.”

For the past two years, Western had not received a full state appropriation, but in July the state of Illinois passed a budget, allotting a full, albeit smaller, endowment for university operations.

 Thomas continued his speech, addressing the second primary issue that he desires to spearhead, the issue of declining enrollment.

“In terms of enrollment, we didn’t get the enrollment we would like to of had, but it could’ve been much worse,” Thomas said. “In terms of the prices of confidence and not receiving a state appropriated budget that affected us in terms of enrollment like it did in all higher education and the number of high school students who leave the state and go elsewhere. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are an affordable university.”

As Thomas concluded his remarks, he mentioned SGA’s inability to make quorum last week, saying that he believes the body will continue to work diligently.

“I often say we have some of the best student leaders in the country and I do believe that,” said Thomas in a statement to SGA. “Our students are very professional and they run a great meeting and I hope you have a quorum tonight.”

Thomas was referring to last week’s quorum controversy regarding SGA’s failure to meet quorum to pass its 2017-2018 bylaws and approve President Grant Reed’s cabinet, resulting in a rules suspension passed 11-5.

“Making sure all of our organizations have senators is key in order for us to do business,” Reed said. “Getting senators in the room is key to making quorum.”

According to Speaker of the Senate Patrick Quinlan, SGA’s discussion last week to suspend its rules was justifiable and well within their rights.

“It is well within our rights to ratify cabinet as is and that’s all I’m going to say about that,” said Quinlan while briefly addressing last week’s quorum controversy.

As  SGA  looks past their quorum quandary controversy, it moved to pass Bill of Appointments 2017-2018.001-.004 permitting Grant Reed to become a member of the Union Board and approve his selected cabinet members.

In conclusion of their weekly meeting, SGA acknowledged and passed the Presidential Bill of Appointment 2017-2018.007 which appointed Isaac Asche to fill the Senator at-Large seat left vacant by the elected Summer Tracy, increasing the likelihood that a quorum discrepancy is prevented in the future.

The next Student Government Association meeting will be held on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Capitol Rooms of the University Union.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Thomas looks to SGA for help