While Student Government Association assembly has tabled the idea of having a student senate for now, the issue will return in the fall.
Al Carroll, current SGA parliamentarian and president-elect for the 2011-12 school year, said he is unconvinced that the student senate format would be beneficial, but debate will continue.
Student senates at other schools include student members who represent other students in their grade level or an assigned group of students.
Butler’s current SGA format includes representatives from any student group or organization. Their constituencies are their group members.
No precise format has been discussed for a possible Butler student senate.
Also, no decision has been made as to whether or not a student senate would coexist along with SGA assembly or take its place.
Last year’s SGA evaluation committee and CPA approached Carroll with the idea after he was elected the 2011-12 SGA president. He said it came out of a sense that SGA members had too little to do.
He said developing a purpose for SGA and taking on greater problems this fall may remedy that issue. If it does not though, he said looking at a format could be beneficial to SGA’s function.
“It doesn’t matter if we have 20 voices or 200 if we don’t have a purpose,” Carroll said.
He said a change to assembly, whether it includes a student senate or not, is necessary.
“We’re not being effective, and we’re not working effectively in this body,” he said.
Either way, he said, the issue brings about important debate over the amount of voices in student government and the representation students desire.
“We’re trying to spark a fire in the student body and ask how much they care about these positions,” he said.
Carroll said the many heated arguments against a student senate and the abrupt tabling of the issue may have stemmed from representatives’ unwillingness to take up such a large issue three meetings from the end of the school year.
It is an issue that Carroll said should be taken up and drafted by assembly members and not the executive. Even so, he said there will be resistance.
“Change is a hard thing to do,” he said. “When you start talking about change, that’s where things start to heat up a bit.”