The Student Association Senate meeting ended unusually early Tuesday night in the Marvin Center with no debate or vote on two Senate bills. The early adjournment occurred because not enough students attended the meeting for any votes to be counted.
Sophomore Sen. George Blair’s (ESIA-U) student fee increase bill was sent to the Finance Committee and freshman Sen. Chloe Lew’s (FYNV) bill to amend the structure of the SA agenda was postponed to the next senate meeting.
The body needed one more voting member to be present to vote on the two pieces of legislation and the meeting was adjourned after 90 minutes.
“I think people have decided that the election has happened and they don’t think the senate matters,” said Executive Vice President Josh Lasky, a senior. “I am glad we were able to keep the meetings shorter this year, but if we can’t muster the strength to be here, we have a problem.”
Senate meetings in past years became known for running past midnight with debate continuing into the early hours of the morning. This year, meetings have rarely gone later than midnight.
Several of the senators in attendance including Blair, Lew, Sen. Brandon Sherr (CCAS-G), also said they were disappointed that there was no debate on the bills. Under senate rules, debate on the bills could have occurred during the meeting, despite not having enough voting members present.
“I am sorry that we weren’t able to discuss the bills tonight,” Sherr said. “Even if there isn’t enough votes, there is merit to discuss the bills.”
“At the very least, it is important to have a discussion at the meetings,” said Lasky, who encouraged the senators present to motivate absent members to come to meetings. “You need to talk to your friends and colleagues in the senate.”
There are two meetings of this year’s senate left on April 3 and April 17.
Sen. Chris Rotella (CCAS-U) said that the limited number of meetings left is not an excuse for poor attendance.
“It is pretty disgraceful with two months left that we don’t have enough people to pass legislation,” said Rotella, a junior.
SA EVP-elect Brand Kroeger said that he has finished meeting with all of the senators-elect of next year’s senate and has pressed upon them the importance of accountability.
“I think we got a great group of people elected,” said Kroeger, who said that many of the re-elected senators were present at the meeting. “We are in it for the long haul.”