The ETSU Student Government Association set up a table in The Cave Wednesday to ask students to contact their representatives about giving the student member of the new ETSU Board of Trustees a vote.
ETSU will officially break away from the Tennessee Board of Regents on March 24. This is a result of the FOCUS Act, which became law on July 1, 2016. This law gives universities that are a part of the Tennessee Board of Regents the power to form their own board of trustees. The new board will make important decisions regarding the university, such as tuition rates.
SB-276 and HB-343, which would give the student representative the right to vote, will soon be up for discussion at the Tennessee General Assembly. The decision on this bill will determine if the student representative across all the TBR universities will get a vote.
“Tabling today was appropriate for engaging students in getting them aware and [willing to take] action by contacting legislators close to when the bill will be debated,” said SGA Sen. Nick Fasanello.
At the table, SGA took the initiative to approach students as they walked by and had information flyers and laptops on stand-by for any students who wanted to send an email to their representative right away.
“Several people expressed that it was only right that the student had a voice and consequently mentioned that they would send emails to their legislators in support of the bill because they found it to be an important cause,” Fasanello said.
SGA President Pooja Shah will travel to Nashville on Tuesday to lobby directly to the general assembly on the issue.
Fasanello said Shah and Secretary of Public Relations Emma Hammer were instrumental in organizing the table. Several other members of SGA, including President Nathan Farnor and Secretary Emily Marmon, are passionate about the issue as well.
“This is definitely an important issue that affects all students,” Hammer said.
For students who are interested in learning more about the issue, they are urged to contact Shah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Contacting (their legislatures) directly is the most effective way to stand behind this bill,” Fasanello said.
Students should visit wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/fml/districts.aspx to find their representatives and their contact information.