ETSU’s Student Government Association kicked off the new semester on Tuesday by appointing new senators and associate justices and announcing a petition.
Current senators unanimously voted on the candidates, and they were sworn in during the meeting. Tiffany Cook, Rubi Estrada, Ruth Boluro-Ajayi, Larissa Copley, Austin Ramsey, Adam Rosenbalm, Connor McClelland, Elizabeth Thacker and Madison Zickgraf were sworn in as senators. Emma Currie, Dylan Fields, Corey Phillips and Kailey Nieman were sworn in as associate justices.
Each new member is assigned a more experienced current SGA member as a mentor after being sworn in, and many of the new appointees were previously members of the Junior Senate. That experience is what makes SGA Attorney General Alexandria Wells excited about the appointments.
“After watching how they wrote their legislation as junior senators, … I was very impressed,” Wells said. “I think that they will be able to contribute great things while they’re here.”
SGA was also presented with a petition. The petition is to earn the student representative on the ETSU Board of Trustees voting privileges. Currently, the student representative is not allowed to vote on any issues with the board.
“We believe it’s important that the student vote is represented on our Board of Trustees,” SGA President Keyana Miller said. “There’s honestly no reason we shouldn’t be allowed that privilege or, honestly, that right.”
In order to change, the petition with ETSU student signatures will be presented to the Tennessee General Assembly. The former Tennessee Board of Regents schools are the only ones in the state that do not allow the student Board of Trustees representative to vote, according to Miller.
SGA members had the opportunity to sign the petition during the meeting and were encouraged to take petitions to their classes and other groups on campus.
If students want the Board of Trustees student representative to vote, they can write their signature on the petition. A petition is available in the SGA office of the Culp Center.
“This is honestly not a school initiative,” she said. “The university is not driving this. This is a student-led initiative. We want them to make sure that just because it’s a student-led initiative that we all do care, and we’re not going to forget that it’s happening. … Just holding them accountable is really important.”