House members say current system of representation works

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    Members of the House of Student Representatives overwhelmingly expressed their approval for the current system of determining House representation through an informal vote Tuesday evening.

    After much discussion about other ways of organizing House seats, Student Body President Josh Simpson asked for an informal vote on keeping the current system.

    Only two House members voted against the system.

    The student body officers agreed that the current method, which is mainly determined by college, is the most effective, Simpson said.

    "We are in favor of the current system… It's clean and less messy than all the others," he said.

    Right now, eight seats are determined by class representation. Two seats are designated for each class: first-year, sophomore, junior and senior. The remaining 48 seats are divided into college representatives based on the amount of students enrolled in each academic college.

    In the past, House members had expressed concerns that the system did not accurately represent all students.

    It is not a system issue, but a marketing issue, said Jansen Harrison, chairman of the Elections and Regulations Committee.

    SGA members need to reach out to students who feel underrepresented and encourage them to run for House, Harrison said.

    "I don't think it's about changing the system, it's about marketing ourselves better," he said.

    Zach Madel, chairman of the Finance Committee, said the same students will run for House, regardless of how the seats are divided.

    “I have a lot of doubts about how important dividing up the seats in SGA really is," Madel said. "I think no matter how we divide up the seats it will still be the same people."

    Other items from Tuesday’s meeting…

    • House members passed a bill to buy an electronic voting system for House. House members would use it when voting on bills or resolutions during SGA meetings, according to the legislation.

    It would provide more accurate voting statistics, according to the legislation. Members also said the voting system would allow House members to vote privately, so they would not be affected other members’ opinions.

    • House members unanimously passed a bill to give $225 to the Student Film Association to enter two films into three festivals.

    The films “Binding Paper” and “An Untitled Story About Loneliness” will be entered into the Telluride Film FestivalGulf Coast Film and Video Festival, and Nashville Film Festival.

    • Harrison also said the new constitution should be presented to House members for discussion next week or the following week.