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March 21, 2013

SGA supports bill to include student voices in the Board of Trustees meetings

By Alberto Paneccasio

During its last session, the Ohio State Senate Education Committee through House Bill 377 proposed that the board of trustees of all public universities should allow the Student Government Association representatives on the board to have voting power and be counted for the determination of quorum.

Currently the SGA representatives on the board do not have voting power. The HB 377 has been proposed to amend the current code that deals with student participation in board of trustees meetings.

Cleveland State SGA briefly discussed the implications and the stance of HB 377, according to Moatasem Al Bitar, president of SGA. SGA wants to give the students more of a voice in the Board of Trustees meetings.

On March 8, Ohio House State Representative Cliff Rosenberger, chairman of the House of Finance and Appropriations Committee that deals with the Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education, visited Cleveland State.Cliff Rosenberger meets with SGA

Rosenberger has been visiting Ohio universities to get a feel for the economic situation present and also how to best utilize the available funding, according to SGA. Rosenberger was visiting Cleveland State campus as part of his college tour.

Rosenberger was one of three people who voted against the bill, according to SGA.

The students of Cleveland State think that this bill is extremely important due to the fact that it would increase the students’ say on matters that directly impact them.

“I believe that students can definitely bring a different perspective on all matters that get discussed at the Trustee meetings,” Al Bitar said.

Members of SGAs in Ohio have been contacting legislative aids in hopes of getting this bill reintroduced because all old bills die automatically, according to Randy Bowling, director of government relations.

Without a vote in the board, students don’t really have a say in anything.Passing of HB 377 will be a step forward for the students of Cleveland State.

This was all discussed in the Faculty Senate meeting on March 6. SGA reported several issues during this meeting, some being the collaboration with the Viking Card, student organizations on campus and a survey they want to make for dining services on dietary restrictions, along with other issues. The main issue discussed was HB 377.