By Greyson Scudder and Mason Storrs
News Editor and Contributor
The Student Body Association (SBA) has big changes ahead in the new year, including a plan to remove several senator seats and to change the presiding member over meetings in 2018.
The big change for SBA meetings in 2018 will be a vote for a shift in who presides over SBA meetings, which will now be led by the SBA Vice President rather than the SBA President.
As Senior Biochemistry major and former SBA Vice President Max Harrigil explained, the change was due to power dynamics.
“The executive board [of SBA] …talked about it and felt like the President had too much power, from an administrative standpoint,” he said.
By allowing the vice president to preside over the meetings, Harrigil explained, it limited the control that the President has during these meetings, and allows for more oversight.
Another change in the Spring semester involves senate seats: the SBA has voted for the removal of three, namely those of the Greek Senator, Non-Greek Senator and the Athletic Senator. The organization voted to cut the seats because of the belief that SBA already represents these constituencies without need of a specific representative for them.
The SBA’s choice to cut the three senator seats was due to two primary reasons, Sophomore Senator in SBA Jake Tipton explained. The first reason is to format the SBA senate to reflect other schools’ senates.
“Millsaps is kind of unique in the fact that no other institution has set out positions for specific communities. Many other institutions just put all of these identities into one and call it something like a diversity chair,” Tipton said.
The other main reason for the removal of the three seats is geared more towards the student body as a whole. The SBA believes it will get rid of the potential for people to feel inclined to vote for someone based off their social identity.
“The second big thing we used as our ruling is the viewpoint of how your identity plays into who you elect on your student body. We didn’t feel comfortable having people elect people just because they weren’t a part of one community or were a part of another,” Tipton said.