SGA critiques strict FSU academic and social policies

SGA President Ben Carrington explains proposed changes to the University alcohol policy. (Donald Halsing / THE GATEPOST)

SGA discussed course selection concerns and alcohol policy changes during its April 2 meeting.

Class and Club Treasurer Lexi Kays commenced Open Forum by reviewing courses currently offered for the fall 2019 semester. 

Kays said the current course selection lacks “opportunity and freedom.

“There are sixteen that I could possibly take to fulfill my major, and two are being offered,” she said.

President Ben Carrington also expressed concern regarding course offerings not being published until the beginning of the advising period.

Next, Marketing Club presented their funding request for FRAMapalooza, an upcoming campus-wide event that will take place May 3. The club requested $1,138.37 for the purchase of food and merchandise.

Parliamentarian Adam Scanlon entertained the motion to allocate the full amount to Marketing Club. The motion was unanimously approved by senate. 

Vice President Matty Bennet continued his discussion from last week on proposed constitutional changes. 

The first proposal presented to senate was a change to Article IV, which recommended the removal of the vice president position from the legislative branch. The position would be moved to the executive branch instead.

Bennet also recommended the current senate chair position be removed from the executive branch. “They [the vice president] will essentially take over the duties of senate chair,” he said.

Bennet presented the proposed changes to Article VI. The article was altered due to a misprint, and now specifies that all executive branch members are eligible for re-election and responsible for organizing and publicizing administrators’ forums. 

Senator Amber Magin moved to accept the changes made to Article VI, pending the duties of president include meeting with the University president once a semester. The senate passed the motion unanimously. 

The final change that was reviewed was in Article VII. This change added a requirement for executive board members to attend summer training in addition to the SGA Retreat. Carrington entertained the motion, followed by a unanimous approval by the senate. 

The senate also discussed the Student Affairs Committee’s proposed changes to the current alcohol policy. 

“We need to get student representation,” Carrington said, as he requested feedback from his fellow SGA members. 

If approved, the proposal would replace current minimum sanctions for violations with new proposed minimum sanctions based on “minimal versus significant” disruptions. 

The alcohol policy currently defines minimal disruptions by the absence of FSUPD response. They would also differ depending on whether those in violation are over age 21. 

Based on feedback, it was agreed that current sanctions are harsh for students. With the proposed adjustments, students would face fewer consequences in regard to their education.

The suggestion was unanimously welcomed by senate members.

Bennet said of the third alcohol policy violation, “Just to play devil’s advocate, I think a one-semester suspension is still harsh. I think that we’re all operating under the assumption that people are drinking to party, and there are a lot of other reasons as to why someone may be drinking on campus. 

“I think we all experience times where we are stressed out, and some of us cope in not-so-healthy ways.”

Senate did not reach a conclusion, but Carrington will report the feedback he received to the committee.