Once united, now divided

Sarah Harris

The two organizations have been together since the 1980s and after arguing over this topic for 10 long years, Student Government Association has finally split from Student Programming Board.

SGA unanimously voted on Wednesday, Feb. 25 to remove SPB from its organization, beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year.

“This was not just an SGA move, this was made in coordination with SPB,” Carly Hviding, the SGA vice president for public relations said.

Vice president for programming is currently a dual position that serves SGA and SPB. The president of SPB has always been the VP of programming on the SGA executive board. The removal of this position is part of the split. They are also removing the programming committee in SGA and SPB is now autonomous so they can vote on their own constitutional changes.

The serious discussion of the split for the current SGA e-Board began last spring when SPB went over their by-laws. Whatever changes they made to their constitution, SGA had to vote on them to go through. Among the changes it wanted to make was how SPB chooses their e-board members. SPB wanted to change their by-laws so that to be eligible for the position of president, you would have already had to be an e-board member of SPB.

Hviding said this limited who could serve the student body on SGA.

“But as SGA was voting on it, we saw a problem with the fact that because that role also serves on SGA which serves a different purpose, it was filtering the number of people that could represent the entire student body on SGA’s five person e-board,” Hviding said. “So it was a concern to us, because it seemed like a filtering system into our organization.”

Danielle Imbriano, the Vice President for Programming felt SGA voting on their constitution had its pros and cons.

“That is effective because they can kind of open our eyes to certain things but also they don’t know all the ins-and-outs of what SPB needs to be a more effective organization,” Imbriano said. “So the autonomy will be back in SPB’s hands which will be helpful for their growth as well.”

Representatives from SGA and SPB came together as an ad hoc committee last semester and discussed how they see the future of these organizations and how they function. The two organizations began to wonder why they were even combined to begin with.

“It made us question ‘well why are we connected’ as two organizations with a common role and this person serving on both…so we had to explore this relationship and if it was a necessary connection,” Hviding said.

One thing that isn’t changing is the financial structure of SPB’s budget with SGA. SGA does not require SPB to submit a line by line item budget since it put on an abundance of programs. All other organizations must submit a line- by-line item budget.

“For SGA and SPB to function to serve the whole student body, because that is what we are charged by the university to do, SPB has to have special privileges within that policy,” Hviding said.

Hviding hopes both organizations continue to serve the student body as best as they can.

“Both organizations are really excited about this change. We worked together to come up with these solutions and we hope for the future that we maintain a relationship with SPB and we can all serve the students as best as possible,” Hviding said.

But as one position goes out, another one comes in.

SGA is voting on a new e-board position, Vice president for student experience, during an emergency meeting Wednesday, March 4. The reasoning for an emergency meeting is due to the timing of elections and how close they are.

This new position would be responsible for collecting student data and working for the student body.

“Essentially, it will make the Student Government Association run more efficiently for the student body because the vice president for programming position is really beneficial but this growth for a possible new position that will be voted on this week will make a position that can help more people out at the university,” Imbriano said.

The vice president for student experience would be an advocate of students organizations and involvement as well. It is very student-focused. The position will focus on student extracurriculars and the outside the classroom experience.

He or she would examine numbers such as the Lever report, a document that shows why people transfer from Quinnipiac. The vice president for student experience will find out what the school can do to lower that number. Certain projects that this position would take over is the potential coffee shop and bar on campus.

“It would be a more proactive position,” Hviding said. “A lot of the time SGA is working as a reactive position so people will bring in concerns to us and we react to them, this would be a proactive position of this is what students are saying, what can we do before it’s an issue.”