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SGA approves Athletic Liaison legislation

By Mary Jean Hall
On January 23, 2013


The SGA senate unanimously approved legislation on Jan. 17 that would create an Athletic Liaison position between the UTM athletes and the student body.

The legislation was originally presented during the last senate meeting of the fall semester. The bill had to be "laid on the table" for two weeks since it was a constitutional revision.

The Athletic Liaison would be nominated by the UTM Athletic Director, who is currently Phil Dane, via recommendation letter to the SGA President. The senate would then have to approve the nominee with a 2/3 vote.

The liaison would receive the UTM SGA book scholarship. The scholarship covers the rental cost of the liaison's textbooks for each semester that he or she fills the position.

However, with great scholarship comes a great responsibility.

Each semester the Athletic Liaison will have to meet the following responsibilities:

A.     Coordinate bi-weekly meetings with the UTM Athletic Director.

B.     Coordinate five meetings with five different UTM athletic sports coaches per semester.

C.     Provide senate with bi-weekly updates on the meetings that have been conducted with the athletics department.

D.    Provide the UTM Athletic Director with bi-weekly updates in regards to SGA and its actions.

E.     Facilitate student government involvement in athletic events on the UTM campus.

F.     Attend all senate meetings.

G.    Understand that they will not have a vote in senate.

H.    Complete five office hours per week in the SGA office.

I.      Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.25.

J.      Understand that they can't exceed more than two absences per semester or will be subject to impeachment by the SGA Judicial Branch.

According to SGA President Alex Wilson, who sponsored the legislation, the Athletic Liaison position will be implemented immediately and will be re-evaluated each year to determine the necessity of the position.

The senate also handled quite a few resignations and appointments of members during the meeting.

Senator Kristal Henderson, Campus Observation Committee Chair Anna Dicus, Senator Riley Rich and Senator Alton Alexander all resigned from their positions within SGA.

Despite all of the resignations, SGA had many new faces ready to take their place representing the student body. Three new committee chairs were appointed: Academic Affairs Chair Brian Carmichael, Student Affairs Chair Blake Stevens and Campus Observation Chair Jana Vestal.

The appointees expressed their gratitude and excitement.

"I remember being a freshman- I was intimidated by [the committee chairs]," Student Affairs Committee Chair Blake Stevens said. "Just three years later, after staying involved, it's finally paid off. I was a Student Ambassador at the Ripley Campus, so it's really cool to now serve in a seat for the main campus."

Sarah Appleton was appointed as the Elections Commissioner, Colin Watts was appointed as a Senator-At-Large and Toya White and Sean O'Brien were appointed as Senators in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.

Chief of Staff Allie Avery presented an idea to get SGA more involved with social media. Avery shared that she wanted to get more pictures and visual messages on Facebook and other mediums since "people look at photos."

PSEPP Coordinator Natalie Boyd spoke with SGA about January being Stalking Awareness Month. PSEPP stands for Personal Safety Empowerment Program Project.

Boyd also informed the senate about the PSEPP Count Me In Program, which reaches out to the leaders on campus to gather support and encourage them to stand up against violence such as date rape, stalking and other violence. The primary goal of the program is to help the campus as a whole.

SGA Vice President Teresa Fowler spoke a few words of encouragement during her executive report.

"I know that we're going to have a great semester, because it's all about attitude," Fowler said. "Think about the legacy you're going to leave on this campus when you graduate."

Fowler also encouraged the SGA members to continue to be involved in campus activities.

"If we want the student body to take us seriously, we need to get out there and do what the student body does," she continued.

SGA Advisor Steve Vantrease informed those in attendance on the bookstore bidding process. Currently, the university is looking to renew contracts for the bookstore. Barnes and Noble has the contract now, but may or may not get the contract renewal that will take over on July 1.

Only three businesses attended the pre-bid meeting: Barnes & Noble, Follett and Nebraska Book Company.

Recently the chefs from UTM and Belmont faced-off in a dining services battle. The chefs representing UTM ended up taking home the trophy and bragging rights with the win over Belmont's chefs.

FOX Sports South will be covering the men's basketball game on Feb. 9. The game should air across the Southeast.

Katie Smith was also introduced as the new Student Organizations Coordinator. Smith moved here from Durango, Co.

She has many goals for the student organizations at UTM. Smith hopes to utilize OrgSync for organizations and individuals.

"I'm really excited about the program," Smith said. "It's great for clubs, and it's also fantastic for individuals."

 She shared three major goals with SGA:

1.     Host more training sessions for club presidents.

2.     Publish a weekly newsletter from the Student Organizations Office called "The Hub."

3.     Utilize OrgSync.

According to Smith, OrgSync has the capability of providing transcripts of student activities.

"In addition to official academic transcripts, we hope to be able to offer you official student involvement transcripts from UTM," Smith said. "That's where we're headed."

The next senate meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. in Room 111 of the UC. As always, students are encouraged to attend. 

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