SMU Student Senate proposes Athletic, Queer and Military Veteran seats
UPDATE: Jan. 26, 2017 4:45 p.m.
The Student Athlete, Military Veteran and Queer seats were added to the Student Senate following results of the Referendum Jan. 24-25, according to an email sent to the student body and faculty Jan. 26 by Student Body Secretary Will Jones. An overwhelming number of students voted in favor of the seats: the Student Athlete Seat passed with 85% in favor, Queer Seat with 70% in favor and Military Veteran with 88% in favor. These seats will be filled in elections come April.
ORIGINAL: Jan. 23, 2017 9:30 a.m.
The SMU Student Senate proposed three new seats to the Chamber last semester: Athletic, Queer and Military Veteran. Student Body Secretary Will Jones believes that adding these seats to the Student Senate is pertinent to making sure all Mustangs have a voice on campus.
“These seats are absolutely necessary to maintain equal and fair representation for minority groups on our campus,” Jones said in an email interview.
Aside from wanting to make sure every voice on campus is heard, Jones was also contacted by students who identify with these groups and asked to take part in Senate.
“I was approached by members of each of these communities asking to take up this initiatives and add these seats to the Chamber,” Jones said. “Members of these communities on campus feel almost voiceless in decision making and want to have an active role in Senate,” Jones said.
Jones, along with fellow Senate members, worked with members of the Chamber to put together the legislation necessary for the new seats. These initiatives passed with the Chamber on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Students will vote on the new seats this week.
The process of adding seats that represent minority groups on campus is not new; Jones recognizes that there has been success with current minority seats in Senate.
“This process has been taken up before and successfully passed with the approval of the Student Body in the cases of our other special interest seats: African American Senator, Hispanic American Senator, Asian American Senator, Transfer Senator, and International Senator,” Jones said.
The Student Senate will table at the West Bridge from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Monday Jan. 23 and Tuesday Jan. 24 to talk to students about what these new seats will mean for the student body, how they will be implemented and also address any other concerns or questions. Students can also review the full legislations for the seats here.
In order for these seats to pass, two thirds of the student body has to vote yes. Voting for these seats will begin on Jan. 24 at 12:01 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Jan. 25 on smu.edu/elections.