SGA gives to Tau Beta Sigma for expenses at convention

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    After much debate, a bill passed Tuesday night to give $300 to the TCU Tau Beta Sigma Chapter for expenses at its 2011 National Convention.

    Tau Beta Sigma is a national honorary band service sorority that has served the TCU band and Fort Worth community since 1957, according to the bill. Tau Beta Sigma is one of 14 national chapters nominated as a Grace and A. Frank Martin Top Chapter Leadership finalist.

    Colleen Ketchum, a representative for the sorority, said the group had played shows at Starpoint School and nursing homes in the community, and raised funds for different causes, such as Japan relief.

    Caroline Wiersgalla, the vice president of external affairs, said the money would help pay for meals because the House can not give money for transportation or lodging. Kari Berdelle, a representative for the College of Communication, said the sorority gives so much to the community, TCU and the band and since SGA cannot pay for transportation or lodging, one thing they could do is provide the sorority with food.

    Hunter Sprague, a representative for the class of 2013, said this bill would bring something back to the university because the sorority is nominated for a national award, and it reflects well on TCU.

    Brent Folan, student body treasurer, said he did not think SGA should pay for food because the sorority was already given $460 for registration fees from the Activities Funding Board.

    Typically, when money is given to pay for food it is $10 per person per event, not $150 for a five-day convention, Folan said.

    The bill passed with a majority vote.

    Bill will add outside furniture to campus

    A bill passed to allocate funds for two tables and one bench on the east side of campus.

     

    The bill would allow $8,000 from the House operating budget for two tables, a bench, concrete pads to place the tables on, shipping costs and plaques stating SGA funded the project, according to the bill.

    The tables would be placed on the east side of Tucker Technology Center near Bass Hall, and the bench would be placed front of the library.

    Trevor Melvin, the parliamentarian, said TCU had been building a lot on campus and he felt the concrete pads would take away more grass.

    Jansen Harrison, a representative for the Addran College of Liberal Arts, said he felt $8,000 seemed steep when there are already places on campus where tables do not seem to be utilized, such as the walkway between Sid Richardson Hall.

    Brittany Henderson, a representative for the College of Fine Arts, said she would like a table to do homework on in between classes because she liked to sit outside on benches doing homework but could only write on her lap.

    The bill passed with a majority vote.

    Resolution outlines representatives’ jobs

    A resolution passed to encourage an unofficial House operations document for the next House session.

    Brett Anderson, vice president of operations, said the House had never had a document to give general outlines for representatives to do their jobs better. Anderson said the document could be updated yearly with new information.

    Andrew Pulliam, the speaker of the House, said the document would be a place to put general information that would be too casual to fit in context of the Student Body Code or the Student Constitution.

    The resolution passed with a majority vote.

    Run-off evaluation passed

    A resolution passed to evaluate the feasibility to implement an instant run-off voting system during Student Body Officer Elections.

    Anderson explained the new system would have students rank candidates. If an absolute majority is not reached, meaning if a student’s No. 1 choice is not elected, the system would use the voter’s second choice.

    The system would eliminate the need for a second day of run-off voting that usually results in fewer student voters, he said.

    Pulliam said resolution would not pass legislation, but call for the Elections and Regulations Committee to conduct research and see if it would be beneficial to the election and student body.

    The resolution passed with a unanimous vote.

    Bill introduction resolution passed

    A resolution passed to initiate an evaluation of the bill introduction process.

    Dalton Goodier, the student relations committee chair, said bills take nearly 10 days to be introduced on the House floor, even with timely issues, like relief for the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

    Goodier said the resolution would look to find a way to streamline the procedure to get bills in and out of the House as soon as possible.

    He said the finance committee conducts a large amount of business over e-mail, so it would not place any additional time pressure on the committee.

    Graham McMillan, chaplain, said almost every bill is time-sensitive, so SGA should look for a way to get more things done.

    The resolution passed with a majority vote.

    The meeting was suspended for around 10 minutes when a weather siren forced the attendees to evacuate to a stairwell.