Compiled by Carson Cook, Chattanooga, Tenn. —
The meeting began with guests speakers Marc Holcomb, career specialist at the UTC Career and Student Employment Center, who was soliciting volunteers for fall career days, and Emelia Dunston, the new Associate Dean of Students. Dunston along with Treasurer Jay Nguyen discussed changes to the Student Programming Allocation Committee (SPAC), such as a new Tuesday meeting time.
In her report, President Kelsey Weaver touched on many changes such as plans for the new career center, new student fees going to study abroad scholarships, UT Martin’s “Soar In Four” tuition model and the UT system wide diversity bill, which bans using state funds to promote education about gender pronouns.
Weaver, along with several other SGA members throughout the meeting, encouraged senators to spread the word about Freshman Senate applications. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 2 at 11:59 p.m.
The majority of the meeting was devoted to appointments. The Senate approved all of the executive committee’s nominees.
For the executive committee, the nominees were Rachel Emond as Secretary, Andrew Keil as Parliamentarian, Abby Kinnard as Chief of Staff and Jordan Flowers and Caroline Meacham as Freshman Senate advisors.
The new committee chairs will be Christopher Velasco for Student Athletics; Joshua Farmer for Campus Observations; Elizabeth Benn for Social Issues, Equity and Diversity; Samantha Sweck for Student Body Projects; Ethan Poteet for University and Academic Affairs and Caroline Beatse for Government and External Affairs.
Sara Leach, Ronald Elliott, Kent Scruggs, Kristy Wieser, Sharhea Bell, Joshua Farmer, Ayanna Muhammad, Christopher Velasco, Bailey Satterfield, A’Jacia Wash and Emily Houston were appointed as senators.
The meeting ended with a general discussion about parking.
In previous years, there has typically been a grace period when students are not ticketed for parking the first week. This year, parking enforcement began Aug. 22 in reserved lots and Aug. 24 is general lots. This was explained in an email sent on behalf of Chancellor Steven Angle and Executive Vice Chancellor Richard Brown that also discussed the 340 new parking spaces and other changes to campus parking.
President Weaver and Chief of Staff Abby Kinnard explained that was in response to student feedback, especially students who paid for reserved lots and were unable to find spots the first week of school. Elliot spoke against the grace period, saying freshmen and transfer students need time to learn about parking.
Senators raised other issues about parking. Senator Muhammed questioned the plans for the parking garage, and Senator Kitterman said many students are upset with needing to move for sporting events. There was a consensus that parking is an ongoing problem that SGA will continue to address another day.