Sam Houston State University’s Student Government Association unanimously approved two new pieces of legislation in reference to senatorial duties regarding the department of internal affairs Tuesday night.
SGA senators are required to declare one standing department in which they serve in addition to their regular senatorial duties, some of which include University Affairs, Rules and Regulations and External Affairs. However, as of Tuesday evening, department chiefs will now be required to attend all Internal Affairs meetings and ordinary senators will no longer be allowed to choose Internal Affairs as their standing department.
Chief of Rules and Regulations and caucus chair for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Daniel Hough, whose responsibilities include running the rules and regulations committee and discussing changes or additions to the rules, election code and constitution, explains why these changes were made.
“We’re looking to change internal affairs to operate more like a cabinet meeting,” Hough said. “It will allow the chiefs of each department to talk about conflicts and events happening in different departments.”
According to Hough, one of the main goals of these adjustments was to achieve better communication between the department chiefs and the president, and in turn, promote more involvement in SGA.
All senators will still be able to voice their concerns or ideas to their department chiefs and then the department chiefs will be the ones to convey that information publicly in the meetings.
Senators who previously served under Internal Affairs will have to choose another department to which they devote their involvement. Department chiefs will assist senators by accommodating conflicting schedules so that senators are able to serve in the department they want.
Although senators can no longer serve under Internal Affairs, the meetings will remain open to SGA members as well as to the public.
Student Body President Spencer Copeland withholds bias regarding the legislation itself, but expresses excitement about SGA’s legislation process in general.
“Overall, I’m very impressed that the senate took the initiative to define a problem and then solve it,” Copeland said. “They’re identifying places where we’re not being as efficient and correcting those problems.”