SGA President says no


Ismert uses first veto in 30 years

Marcus Clem | Collegio Reporter

Lara Ismert, Student Government Association president, struck down an adopted Senate resolution for the first time in decades before SGA’s last meeting of

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the semester.
The resolution had allocated about $1,000 from the carryover fund of the previous SGA fiscal year for the Pitt Points scholarship program, and had been approved by a unanimous vote on Nov. 14.
The Pitt Points program rewards students who are active participants in university-sponsored events by giving out an academic scholarship and other prizes.
Ismert says she decided to use her veto power after the question of fundraising had been raised at SGA’s previous meeting. She says $1,910 has already been provided out of Pitt State’s Educational Opportunity Fund for Pitt Points. The vetoed resolution sought to supplement this amount to around $3,000 for the main scholarship opportunity.
Ismert encouraged senators to reach out to private donors to achieve the goal.
“I think that we need to try to raise $1,000 before we spend our own budget’s money,” Ismert said.
In recognition of the fact that the vetoed resolution had been adopted unanimously, Ismert urged anyone who disagrees with her decision to call a vote to override the veto. However, no such effort was made.
Sydney Ward, SGA vice president, then opened the floor to discussion about the veto and received a muted response. After a motion from Sen. Michael Giffin, discussion about how the Senate should proceed took place. SGA directors indicated that there may be “wealthy donors” who typically support the university who could supply all or most of what is needed independently.
“I was really surprised by the reaction,” Ismert said. “I was really appreciative of Sen. Giffin, who basically said, ‘Guys, don’t we want to talk about this at all?’ That was probably necessary. I think that a lot of senators are just used to saying yes.”
Prior to the bulk of the veto discussion, Tyler Edwards, SGA campus affairs director, announced that SGA’s proposal to the Kansas Board of Regents to obtain funding and permission for a university convenience store has been postponed until the spring semester.
Edwards says the Senate’s failure to acquire a sufficient number of student poll respondents on the matter was a factor in this event.
“Thanks to the eight people who have replied with poll work,” Edwards said during the meeting. “I don’t mean to be harsh, but I’m really disappointed.”
Edwards says the convenience store will probably be run by Sodexo Food Services and will, if approved and opened, sell items intended to enable students to obtain basic groceries like bread and milk without having to leave campus.
After the veto situation was concluded, the Senate moved on to the confirmation of Sen. Alyssa Marsh as SGA community affairs director and Sen. Ethan Scott as SGA treasurer. Both were unanimously approved and will take office in January.
This was the last SGA meeting of the semester. Ismert reflected on the work done so far.
“It is inarguable to say that this is the most SGA’s ever done,” Ismert said. “I don’t think it was really my leadership. It was because of the cabinet’s lead moved on to the confirmation of Sen. Alyssa Marsh as SGA community affairs director and Sen. Ethan Scott as SGA treasurer. Both were unanimously approved and will take office in January.
This was the last SGA meeting of the semester. Ismert reflected on the work done so far.
“It is inarguable to say that this is the most SGA’s ever done,” Ismert said. “I don’t think it was really my leadership. It was because of the cabinet’s leadership and the Senate’s leadership. There’s the Hunger Games, where we packaged 8,000 meals and sent them off to Honduras. That’s really incredible. We have never been able to do things like that in the past.”

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