SGA votes to hold referendum to eliminate House seats for Honors College

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The House representatives were asked to raise their hand if they are currently in the John V. Roach Honors College. Photo by Layna Steward.

The House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday night calls for the elimination of House seats for the John V. Roach Honors College.

The legislation, which passed 33-15, noted that “students within the honors college receive triple representation from their class, academic and honors representatives whereas non-honors students only receive double representation.”

A student body vote is expected to be held before the end of the semester. The measure needs a simple majority to pass.

The apportionment became a concern once the numbers and percentages of House members’ representation came to the attention of Student Body Treasurer Paige Shiring, said Class of 2021 Representative Austin Shively.

“When looking at the numbers and percentages, there is not an equal representation in the House currently because of the Honors College seats,” said Shively. “Getting rid of the Honors College seats will create equality within the House.”

The House of Representatives wants it to be known that “this has nothing to do with any current litigation that exists on campus, but that it is purely our student government’s attempt to make our representation of the student body more fair and equal,” said Neeley School of Business Representative Zane Champie.

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“This is not a legal matter,” said Shiring. “This is SGA taking an opportunity to critically evaluate how we conduct business during a time where the campus really cares.” 

The Honors College is technically a co-curricular program, so if that is the case, other co-curricular programs such as Neeley Fellows should also be represented in the House, Shiring said.

“Without the Honors seats, it will open up more opportunity for other students to become a part of SGA,” Shively said.

Although the majority of the representatives voted in agreement with the bill, there was a significant number of members who believe the Honors College should still be represented.

Honors representative Clayton Dana-Bashian attempts to make one last point that the Honors College is an asset to student government. (Layna Steward)

“I believe that maintaining honors representatives is the best way to ensure transparent and effective advocacy for TCU students,” said honors Representative Clayton Dana-Bashian. “However, the upcoming referendum is an important way for the students to voice their opinions about their representation and tell SGA how best to represent them moving forward.”

Overall, the goal of this bill is to create a “truly equitable student government,” Shiring said.