SGA suspends pilot program, internally elects new officers

The Student Government Association moved Tuesday to permanently suspend its pilot program to change SGA elections from an academic to a calendar year. The removal of the pilot invalidated the presidency and vice-presidency, forcing SGA to hold internal elections.

IUP’s body of student governance re-elected Marissa Olean (junior, criminology) as president, who then appointed Elijah Rosenthal (junior, political science) as vice president.

Rosenthal succeeds Zachery Chandler (junior, business education) as the vice president. As a result, Chandler only served half of his term in office.

“The purpose of the pilot was to test to see if SGA could effectively run on a calendar year instead of an academic year to benefit transition, to benefit our working within the university, and to help the initiatives that we wanted to put in place,” said Chandler, former SGA vice president and author of the pilot.

The pilot was suspended because it did not reach the needs or initiatives that it was designed for, he said.

Section IV of the pilot states that any actions taken by the general assembly would be “null and void” if the pilot were not officially adopted into the SGA constitution.

This means that any executive board position and chair position elected for the pilot program would end if the pilot was suspended, Chandler said.

The pilot was “suspended in its entirety, effective immediately” at Tuesday’s meeting in a 12-0 vote, according to Matthew Jones (senior, finance and legal studies).

Elections for president and vice president were held during the fall 2013 semester, and officer positions were to be held for a calendar year beginning immediately after winter break, according to the pilot.

The suspension of the pilot resulted in all positions excluding senators becoming vacant, which called for an automatic internal election.

Following the suspension of the pilot, Jones motioned to open internal elections for president.

This motion carried with a 13-0 vote.

Olean was the only member nominated and was re-elected as SGA president by secret ballot.

After being re-elected, Olean proceeded to appoint SGA members to executive and chair positions.

Rosenthal’s appointment to fill Chandler’s spot was approved by unanimous consent.

Christopher Wetherson (senior, political science) and Chandler were both nominated for chief justice.

After hearing brief statements from both nominees, the general assembly voted in favor of Chandler for chief justice by secret ballot. The motion to approve the appointment of Chandler was approved by unanimous consent.

SGA members appointed to their former chair positions include secretary Hanna Beightley (sophomore, natural sciences), treasurer Derek Hanely (sophomore, mathematics) and director of internal affairs Katie Lasky (senior, biology and psychology).

Members now holding new positions include Rosenthal as vice president, Chandler as chief justice and Elena Kapp (sophomore, international business) as director of external affairs.

Olean then appointed all senators to their previous positions.

Wetherson was re-sworn in as senator but resigned Tuesday night after the meeting, according to Olean.

Safety and Security Chair Louis Bovan (senior, management information systems) also reported addressing borough council about the condition of the road under the sky bridge of the Hadley Union Building.

The road was referred to as a “very tricky area” by council, Bovan said. However, because of a possible conflict of whether the project falls under borough or campus jurisdiction, the council said road conditions will be improved as soon as possible.

Community Service Chair Brandon Andrews (junior, geography and regional planning) spoke with Stephenson Hall’s residence hall director about encouraging residence halls to compete in SGA’s book drive at the end of the semester.

The idea of residence hall floors competing with the other floors in the building was proposed. The floor that donates the most books will win an unspecified prize.