The Student Government Association constitution states that all senators are required to attend and actively participate in meetings, standing committees and any other functions of SGA.
SGA meetings are every Tuesday at 4 p.m. and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. When students fill out a SGA application, they are asked if they will be able to attend meetings at that time for both the fall and spring semesters.
The senate is made up of 30 students apportioned from 10 colleges and schools of ETSU.
The SGA constitution states that any senator that is absent to four meetings shall be subject to sanctions. This happens again at six absences. Sanctions may include suspension from office for the remainder of the senator’s term, additional office hours, extra service opportunities or other additional sanctions the SGA vice president finds appropriate.
Megha Gupta was just elected SGA secretary/treasurer. As the secretary/treasurer, Gupta is in charge of student government records and finances. This includes the senators’ attendance at SGA.
“The senators are selected from the student body, but we have certain expectations for our senators and that comes with them being in meeting unless they have an excuse,” Gupta said.
According to the constitution, the SGA vice president has the authority to excuse absences for university sponsored activities, documented illnesses or other excuses the vice president find to be legitimate. Excused absences don’t count toward the senator’s absences in regard to sanctions.
“They should dress professionally, follow the protocol and also transparency,” she said. “They should go out of their way to talk to students and figure out what they want and be those voices and bring it back to senate.”
As a newly elected executive member, Gupta is adamant about the senators fulfilling their duties next year.
“If those expectations are not met, we’re going to do something about it,” Gupta said. “Just because last semester, most people who didn’t like it towards the end of the semester started slacking off. If you’re in SGA, you’re representing ETSU and that’s not right. In terms of that, we are definitely going to be enforcing more rules and having senators follow those rules.”