Where are the Bills?
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The MSMS Administration has been blocking senate bills and, in effect, has been raising student concern for the effectiveness of this branch of the Student Government Association.
According to senior senator Kaleigh Leiva, “Senate has been passing bills but Administration hasn’t; it is ultimately their final decision.”
Most bills are vetoed because they seem to either try to do to much within a singular bill or administrators plainly don’t agree with them, a point echoed by the likes of senior Kallia Cooper, junior Kamal Bhalla, Kaleigh Leiva, Mrs. Kelly Brown, and Dr. Germain McConnell.
Members spend all of the meetings making proposals and editing them until those bills can finally be approved by the senate. Every senator has to create at least one bill and senate meetings are not allowed to end early regardless of how early they finish this work.
After administrators look at the bills, members go to work trying to make the necessary changes for another shot. But as Cooper pointed out, an hour is “not enough time” to run through someone’s mandatory bill and an already vetoed bill.
When asked to come up with a solution to get bills passed, Bhalla stated, “If you’re gonna make a bill that has something to do with res-life or something specific, make sure you talk to them and at least get their opinion on it. I feel having communication is important.”
Mrs. Brown echoes Bhalla’s sentiments. Brown states that her quiet demeanor during senate meetings does not specifically mean that she won’t say her honest opinions on the matter at hand.
Dr. McConnell says that he likes to gain input from teachers and other faculty members on the proposed bills; he’s always able to find new matters, good and bad, to think about after his sharing.
“Whenever I get bills that have been proposed, the first thing I do is send it out to all the employees and I ask for input feedback on the bills, and at first glance, it is like ‘Oh this looks good.’ After the feedback, I think ‘Oh I didn’t think about that,’” Dr. McConnell stated.
But most of all, the two want students to communicate with SGA themselves. “[Senate] is an experience of the democratic system; if there are bills students want passed they should speak to Senate,” Dr.McConnell said.
The best solution to see bills get passed may be to be an active follower of the happenings behind the scenes. People must begin to go to meetings, ask to see the Google Docs of all passed bills, and start to make suggestions for proposals.
Bills have to go through many hoops and hurdles before they can be finalized. The big, expensive and glamorous bills will not be passed anytime soon, but the senators keep working.
“Even though it is discouraging when Administration doesn’t pass bills,” Leiva finished, “there is always next year for the junior senators, but it has been a great experience changing the school for the better.”
Bhalla’s words are a bit more pointed, however. Her final words on the subject were “Don’t look upon senate as if we’re not doing anything because we are trying our very best; however, your very best doesn’t always mean success.”