New legislation could potentially shrink the size of Sam Houston State University’s Student Government Association, after a survey on the issue was taken during Tuesday’s meeting.
Daniel Hough, chief of Rules and Regulations and caucus chair for College of Humanities and Social Sciences, explained that although the legislation has not yet been drawn up, the idea has been up in the air for the past year.
The current senate is capped at 90 senators. However, Hough would like to see that number shrink.
“Last year, it was brought to the attention of the former Chief of Student Affairs about changing the size [of SGA], and his idea was to change it to the capacity of about 40 people,” Hough said. “Well, due to some complications, he wrote a referendum but it didn’t get put onto the ballot last year.”
This year, however, Hough is determined to continue what was left unresolved.
“I’ve been going on to continue [the former Chief of Student Affairs’ work] and to address the problems that people have had for a couple of years now to make a senate size that’s acceptable and realistic,” Hough said.
As of right now, SGA has only secured 40 percent of their maximum capacity, which in turn, according to Hough, reflects poorly on the organization.
“Basically, we want to go and make this more of a prestigious organization,” Hough said. “Also, it’s kind of [our] reputation as well. To have only 40 percent filled, it just doesn’t look good on our behalf.”
However, this issue isn’t prevalent at SHSU alone.
“We’ve looked around at other SGA’s and Texas A&M was the closest one, and they have [an SGA that is] just slightly larger than ours, and they probably have about 50 percent of theirs filled,” Hough said. “It’s a problem across SGA’s and we just want to make it a more realistic size.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, Hough brought up the potential legislation and passed out a survey to the rest of the senators in order to find out where the rest of SGA stood on the issue.
“From the survey, not to give out numbers or anything, the majority see a need for change,” Hough said. “Now we just have to find the happy medium where everyone would agree on a number and what process we would take [next].”
Dean of Students and SGA Advisor John Yarabeck said he mirrors Hough’s thoughts on the matter.
“I don’t believe that it will decrease the effectiveness of SGA if this is what they choose to do,” Yarabeck said. “In the nine years I have advised SGA we have never had a completely full senate.”
Hough believes that if this legislation is created and passed, the effects would be positive.
“I believe that it makes our reputation look better,” Hough said. “I think it makes us grow together as a whole, to have a more prestigious organization that people want to be involved in. Not everyone [will be able to] make it into this organization, which is not necessarily a bad thing.”
The official results of Tuesday’s survey will be available at the next SGA meeting on Nov. 4.