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SGA loses power to grant University affiliation

27 February 2013 By Brandi Bottalico, Associate News Editor 8 Comments
Trey Davis/ The Towerlight

Trey Davis/ The Towerlight

The Student Government Association no longer possesses the power to grant University affiliation to student groups.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the senate voted to enact a new system that would require all prospective student groups to meet with a representative from Student Activities, who would allow the affiliation.

These groups, dubbed Registered Student Organizations, would not receive funding from SGA, and would be required to find at least five members, draft a constitution in line with University policies and find an adviser before asking for affiliation.

If the group is on campus for two consecutive semesters they can apply for SGA budgeting.

SGA can then approve or deny a budget plan and give that group money from student fees.

Registered Student Organizations do not need to seek funding.

Groups that are SGA affiliated will be grandfathered in as a University affiliated organizations, and will continue to receive funding.

“If they have all the requirements, they wouldn’t have to meet with us,” SGA President Brandy Hall said. “The only time we will meet with groups now is for budgeting.”

Associate Vice President for Campus Life Teri Hall said she feels that the new process frees up time for SGA members that currently spend approving student group constitutions. She also said the new process helps eliminate bias senators may have when voting on approving student groups under the current system.

“It’s really about helping SGA focus more on clear advocacy for the student body,” she said.

Brandy Hall said she thinks the resolution will alleviate pressure from SGA members.

“It’s a stigma with us with approving or denying a group and just because we don’t agree with a group doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be denied,” she said.
“It wouldn’t be fair if someone who pays student fees is not able to create a group.”

Teri Hall said that all the information about the group will be submitted electronically through Involved@TU.

“The main thing about what we’re trying to do with having extra student organizations is having it be easier and streamlined,” she said.

Senator Alexa Geller was the only member of the senate opposed to the bill. She had suggested an amendment that will be addressed at a meeting with faculty about the required grade point average for student group executive board members. The resolution requires a 2.0 GPA to be a leader of a Registered Student Organization, but Geller said that the GPA requirement should be higher because students who aren’t keeping up with studies shouldn’t take on extra responsibility.

“Students who are working on their grades more will be working on more in all facets of their life,” she said.

Previously to become a student group the prospective members had to submit the name of an adviser and eight members, and meet with an SGA staff adviser and the SGA attorney general to create a constitution.


8 Comments »

  • Lauren Havelka said:

    I foresee nothing but trouble coming from this.

  • Towson student said:

    @Lauren: Why do you only see trouble coming from this?

  • keepinusdown said:

    This is a power play by the administration to silence to will of the students and take away any semblance of student power on campus. SGA is becoming a neutralized group and all of the power of making decisions is reverting back to the administration. Students in mad are not paying attention and before too much longer this trend will envelop campus and it will be nothing more than a high school for older kids. Sad really.

  • Mike said:

    ^^ Sga had no power anyways. It’s nothing but a way for kids to boost their resumes and feel important.

  • Matt said:

    Having a strong and influential student government is critical to a campus being vibrant. Once you make it a yes squad it becomes useless.

  • Sean said:

    I used to be in the SGA and I will say that while overall I see this as a loss for the students, there is a positive in that the SGA can indeed benefit from the time it frees up. Someone above said that the SGA is for people who want to boost their resumes; that’s certainly true for some of the people in it, but wouldn’t it be great if they could do that while actually doing something? If approached correctly, this could free up time for reaching out to the whole student body (say what you will about the SGA, they spend a lot of time dealing with student group minutiae and don’t get to focus on bigger things). More events, more free stuff, more initiatives…etc.

    And frankly, I don’t agree with the idea that it should be easy to create a group; it’s always been too easy for flimsy groups to form…I actually think that if the process is a little more drawn out, maybe passing fads won’t become budgeted and will leave more money for other things.

    Just DO NOT give up the power to budget, then you have completely lost and there’s very little reason to have an SGA (at least of the size it is now). That money is set aside for student groups and the SGA to improve the student experience from the student perspective; let it stay that way.

    Lastly, a 2.0 GPA is fine. I hovered somewhere around there for my first year and it was only after getting involved in student groups that my GPA came up…so no, the SGA doesn’t need to mother the students.

  • Allison said:

    When you take away the right to form groups based on it being flimsy its about control, nothing more or less. It’s the same argument that people use about gun control and taking away constitutional rights. This is all about administrative power and a reaction to the white elitist group from last fall. The University got scared by that and now is making it tougher on us all as a result. This is about power and specially about taking it away from students.

  • Sean said:

    What I meant by “flimsy” is that people weren’t forming the groups to benefit the student body in the long run. We had so, so many groups go defunct after a year, or two at most, and it just created a headache of finding the right people to contact, and approaching how to budget the other groups when we had such a revolving door. This change is partially due to the Youth for Western Civilization, I’m sure, but that’s not necessarily what I meant. I think groups should have a more strict process to gain recognition and access to funds in general.

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