Representatives debate modes of representation at SGA meeting


The House of Student Representatives does not address the needs of all students, some representatives said at the Student Government Association meeting Tuesday evening.

Representatives discussed whether determining House seats by academic college is an effective way to represent all students.

"What we do know is this: The system we have isn't working, and there are people who aren't feeling represented," Student Body President Joshua Simpson said.

House members could change representation by adding extra seats for specific groups or interests on campus, Katie Neuberger, a representative of the Neeley School of Business, said.

This type of organization is called hybrid representation, Speaker of the House Luke Harville said.

These seats would not have to be permanent, Simpson said. They could change from year to year according to student-expressed need.

Possibilities could include a seat for student veterans, international students or transfer students, he said.

Some students such as international students have said they do not feel represented in the current system, Treasurer Cody Westphal said.

"I honestly don't really think this [current system] is a good cross-section of the school," Westphal said. “I don’t feel like everyone is being represented here.”

Some representatives disagreed.

"I do think that there is adequate representation going on in all the colleges," Spencer Heath, Harris College of Nursing representative, said.

However, extra seats could be a good thing, Heath said.

“I’m totally open to the hybrid mix, but there are certain people in the House who are ignoring past progress to get the system changed,” Heath said. “We’ve accomplished some good stuff in colleges.”

Westphal said he might bring legislation to the House to change representation.

“If that develops, it probably would be a fiery thing,” he said.

House members will keep discussing representation next week, Simpson said.

Other important items from Tuesday’s meeting

• House members unanimously passed the “Bill to Alter Presidential Responsibilities.” .

• “A Bill to Fund the Purchasing of Recreation Complex Mirrors” was introduced to the finance committee and may be discussed in the House next week.

• “A Bill to Change the Election Code Regarding the Student Body Treasurer” was introduced to the Elections and Regulations Committee and may be discussed in the House next week.

• Seven of the eight new House representatives were sworn in.

• SGA allocated $5,000 to TCU LEAPS, $1,125 to the Gymnastics Club and $470 to the Young Americans for Freedom.