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Final SGA Senate meeting brings changes to leadership, bylaws

SGA Senate (copy)

Jaden Kasitz, Holland Gray and Erica Wiebe 

Oklahoma State’s Student Government Association leadership positions will look different next year.

During their final meeting of the semester, the SGA elected a new Senate Chair, Vice Senate Chair and all Committee Chairs. Sen. Marcus Heald beat out Sen. Noah Murphey for the SGA Senate Chair position by a vote of 22 for, 15 against, 1 Abstention.

Heald will replace current Senate Chair Holland Gray, assuming his role over the summer.

Murphey wasn’t down for long. The senator won the vote from his peers for the Vice Chair position after losing the vote for Senate Chair moments earlier. Murphey ran against Sen. Joshua Fisher and Sen. Callie Dumbauld for the position.

The results of the vote were: Murphey 26, Fisher 6, Dumbauld 5, Abstention 1.

Senators Ashley Schultz, Logan Hutto and Aaron Carmichael ran unopposed for their Committee Chair positions. Samuel Smith and Luke Muller won their positions through the same election process of the Senate and Vice Senate Chairs.

The SGA did not only elect new senators for the positions that opened. The SGA operating budget was set for the next semester after the Senate voted to confirm the total.

According to the legislation passed, the total operating budget for next year will be just over $127,000.

The SGA also amended the bylaws to change the Election Agency process in the aftermath of the last SGA election. Sen. Jessie Hickey explained the amended portion of the bylaws.

“We’ve rebranded the EA into an EC to make sure that people aren’t being misconstrued about what they do,” Hickey said. “They’re just going to be spending some time looking into the election results, and if the ballots are correct.”

The SGA also moved the process of complaints from the process into a lower level court. The lower level court would require three Supreme Court Justices so the SGA can have an appeals process.

The previous form of the system required the Election Agency to determine if there was evidence, then send it to the Supreme Court who would make a ruling. Before the changes, the SGA Senate did not have any appeal process to all other matters before the Supreme Court.

Near the end of the meeting, President Chase Blevins, Vice President Vanessa Wiebe and Senate Chair Holland Gray delivered their farewell addresses to the SGA Senate.

Vice President Vanessa Wiebe recognized the impact that Gray had on the SGA this year.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Holland because it was a rough kind of transition from Brooke to Holland,” Wiebe said. “And he got thrown into an entirely new Senate. Total different vibe than what has been there in the past… If you look from where they started, even where they started in January after an entire semester, to where they’ve come now, it’s just leaps and bounds above where they were. And that was a lot due to Holland.”

Gray spoke about the impact that Blevins and Wiebe have had on the SGA as well as the shared impact of the leadership on student body.

“We both got to bask in the glory of this position as well as suffer through some of the major defeats of these positions together,” Gray said. “Not many people get to have that experience together.”