Senators reject bill to raise GPA standards

After weeks of debate over a bill that would raise the grade point average standards for anyone working as a part of Student Government, senators finally laid the proposal to rest.

The bill – which has been brought before the senate floor three times – was quickly rejected Tuesday night and tabled indefinitely. According to senator Jason Taylor, even the bill’s author – senator Mark Vila, who wasn’t present for the meeting – agreed the bill should be stricken from any further agendas.

Now that the new bill has been tabled indefinitely, the original bill that states anyone working within SG must maintain a 2.0 GPA will continue to serve as the guideline for employment.

Throughout the three weeks of debate, the question of how high is too high to ask of potential personnel was often revisited. Vila originally thought it best to increase the minimum GPA to 2.5, but after consulting with fellow senators, Vila chose to change it to a 2.25. This number also brought up a number of concerns from several senators, and the number was again dropped to a 2.0 with the stipulation that there would not be a grace period to bring the average back up.

The bill came under scrutiny in the previous weeks because many senators said that if it were passed it would’ve made SG appear to be an elitist group rather than a place where all students have a voice. Others argued that a 2.0 was too low and those holding positions within SG should be able to balance school and work efficiently.

Once the GPA bill was tabled, senators turned their attention to another hot topic, the Phyllis P. Marshall Center renovation plan.

For weeks now, several senators have been working to rewrite a piece of legislation that outlines the positions and duties of the Marshall Center’s Board of Directors.

Earlier in the evening, Marshall Center Director Joe Synovec gave a brief presentation on his ideas to restructure the Marshall Center’s Board of Directors. In the speech he said he felt that two key issues were being misrepresented through the current wording of the legislation.

Although the legislation has not been voted on yet, Synovec had hoped to add these concerns as amendments before the bill was presented to the senate floor. After 20 minutes of discussion, senators chose to vote in opposition to the amendments.

Synovec’s first issue stemmed from the title Board of Directors. He said in a memorandum, “We feel that the title ‘Board of Directors’ misrepresents the actual role of the board to the student body.”

Synovec explained that the idea of a Board of Directors communicates a decision-making body rather than an advisory one. He suggested changing the name to the Board of Associates.

Synovec’s second recommendation was to change the number of students sitting on the Board from seven to nine, and gather these students from a more diverse source.

In his memorandum, Synovec cites that the current legislation only allows for the student body president to appoint students based on his own criteria. If senate had chosen to follow Synovec’s advice, only four students would be chosen by the student body president and the other five would be chosen from their respective groups. A graduate student chosen by the Graduate and Professional Student Council, a student from the Campus Activity Board, a Greek chosen by the Greek Quad Council, a senator from SG and a resident chosen by the Residence Hall Association would be eligible applicants for positions on the Board.