The Monroe Park Student Government Association is in the process of approving a proposal that would create a joint student government with the SGA on the medical campus.
The MCV SGA approved the proposal during a meeting on Feb. 20. Now, the Monroe Park SGA has sent it to committee for approval or editing. If sent back to and passed by the Monroe Park Senate, the proposal would then need approval from the Board of Visitors before being added to the Spring 2013 ballot.
“In the end, the students will have the final say on this matter,” said Niyati Patel, the chairperson of the Monroe Park SGA’s Committee for Academic Affairs. She said once her committee finishes discussing the proposal and makes any edits they deem necessary, it would go before the Senate before discussion on March 11. The vote would take place on March 18, just three days before voting opens to the student body.
Low voter turnout during the fall 2012 SGA elections has made the Monroe Park SGA mindful of the lack of SGA election awareness among the student body. In the election, there were just 956 ballots cast — fewer than 3 percent of all VCU students.
Amani Walker, chairperson of the Monroe Park SGA Elections Committee, said during a recent Senate meeting that the lack of awareness of the SGA elections needs to be addressed and solved. She said it is especially important in the upcoming election where important matters like the Joint SGA proposal and the Monroe Park SGA presidency will be come before the student body.
As a response to the lack of awareness and the past low voter turnout, Walker and the Elections Committee will be proposing to the SGA Senate an SGA Elections Awareness Resolution. The resolution will involve increasing the SGA elections’ online and campus presence in the runup to the election.
“We will be using the VCU SGA website, Facebook, creating an Instagram account to cover the virtual campaign,” Walker said in an email. “We also have created flyers and posters that we will post up the week prior to elections to inform the student body that the elections are coming as well as during the elections to publicize the candidates, their stances and other matters the students will be voting on such as the joint SGA proposal.”
There will also be a Presidential Forum on March 14 for the SGA presidential and vice-presidential candidates to publicly share their platforms with the student body and discuss the issues students will be asked to vote on this semester.