Student Government Association holds inaugural spring semester student assembly meeting

The+Student+Government+Association+in+a+joint+session+meeting+in+February+2020.+

Photo: Yongze Wang

The Student Government Association in a joint session meeting in February 2020.

By Frankie Rowley, Content Managing Editor

The Student Government Association appointed four new members and approved an appeal during their first student assembly meeting of the spring semester on Friday. 

First-year students Hannah Flayhan, Aswathi Menon, and Yuyang Mu were appointed to positions in the organization’s executive branch, while fellow first year Dagan Fishbain was appointed to fill a vacancy in the academic senate. Flayhan, Menon, and Mu will serve as executive secretary, chief of staff, and communications director respectively. Fishbain will serve as comedic arts senator.

Flayhan, a journalism major who ran and lost the race for class of 2024 president in the fall, fills the role following the departure of former executive secretary Felix Bieneman. Mu, a marketing major, fills the vacancy left by Hannah Flaherty, who graduated at the conclusion of the fall semester, and Fishbain fills the vacancy left by Evan Philips’s departure. 

“We definitely got through a couple of appointments today that were very much needed,” Executive President Lindsay Debrosse said in an interview with The Beacon. “I’m really glad I finally have a chief of staff and a [communications] director to get the social media game up.”

SGA also passed an appeal filed by WACK Magazine, a multi-media magazine at Emerson, for $1,015 in order to print issues throughout the semester. 

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“The reason why they are appealing for additional funds is because when they were established and created last year, they didn’t really know how much to ask for,” SGA Advisor Jason Meier, said in the meeting. “In working with our printing company, Flagship, they received the quotes in December, and that quote was well over the budget that they asked for. So they are appealing so they can accomplish their stated goals and objectives.”

Appeals are typically processed by SGA’s financial advisory board, but the organization is without an executive treasurer in light of Thomas Coughlin’s departure. The organization’s bylaws dictate that any appeal over $5,000 requires approval by the student assembly. Wack Mag’s appeal was only for $1,015.

SGA’s constitution presents a number of distinct paths forward for handling a vacancy in the treasurership. FAB could vote to appoint a “treasurer pro tempore,” in which case the board would likely split the duties of the treasurer amongst themselves. Debrosse could also make an appointment, who would be subject to a two-thirds vote of student assembly.

However, the organization seems poised to follow neither of those paths forward, as Debrosse told The Beacon she plans to head up FAB in the absence of a treasurer. 

“If we don’t find [an Executive Treasurer] soon, I’m going to be left chairing and facilitating FAB,” she said. 

The position, which is one of SGA’s most critical, was left vacant after Thomas Coughlin declined to run for a second term in the position. 

Coughlin repeatedly declined to comment on his decision. 

SGA’s former advisor, Sharon Duffy told The Beacon the organization never began a semester without a sitting treasurer during her tenure with the organization. 

Debrosse declined to name any potential candidates for the role, but confirmed the top two candidates to act as SGA’s new “student financial assistant”, student workers who will work 10 hours a week and will handle the day today responsibilites. 

Update: This article previously reported that SGA was sending offers to candidates for the Executive Treasurer positon. SGA sent offers to two students who will serve as student organization financial assistants. This article has been updated to reflect that.