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SGA passes Phi Alpha Delta, new election rules

By Pat Holohan, Staff Writer

At Tuesday night's Student Government Association Senate meeting, Senator Franky Vivacqua attempted to reverse Senator Jared Berry's election legislation from earlier in the semester. The elections commission has been the subject of fierce debate this semester since Berry introduced his amendment to the policy series that established an elections commissioner from the Dean of Students office to replace the student-run elections commission.

After lengthy debate, Berry proposed a compromise to keep the elections commission, but to have a Dean chair the commission. The amendment passed with very little resistance, and many senators expressed relief that the group was finally able to compromise after so much debate. In his executive report, President Sean Hutchinson cited the compromise as a reason that he thought, "tonight went extremely well."

The compromise was not the only change to an SGA meeting. While waiting for Hutchinson and Vice President Akeem Mellis to arrive, Student Services Committee Chair Lukas Miedriech ran the meeting for the first 19 minutes.

SGA again discussed the possibility of voting in Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law society, as an SGA club. The club is already recognized by the university under University Advisement, but is not under the umbrella of SGA. Berry has been working with the club to "find a home" for Phi Alpha Delta, a search which he called a "never ending road of questions." Berry suggested that Phi Alpha Delta become a "free-floating agent under student activities," rather than an SGA club.

Senators arguing against Phi Alpha Delta have cited a number of problems. The main problem has been that some do not see a considerable difference between Phi Alpha Delta and the existing Pre-Law Society at the University. Another issue for senators was that Phi Alpha Delta has already existed at Hofstra as it is without any conflict, and that it should remain the same.

In a turnaround from votes against Phi Alpha Delta's becoming an SGA club in previous weeks, the senate passed Phi Alpha Delta with a vote of 40 in favor, seven against, and two abstentions.

Senator Mike Hershfield proposed legislation to look into obtaining reliable wireless internet for all of the University's campus, particularly the residence halls. Comptroller Brian Marquis informed Hershfield that he had introduced similar legislation as a freshman and that Hofstra has a three year plan to install wireless internet on campus.

"You're a junior, right?" Hershfield asked Marquis. "So, two years ago," referring to the amount of time that has passed without the University's becoming completely wireless. The amendment passed with a suggested deadline of spring 2011, which Berry said would tell the University, ‘Please, do this,' rather than the proposed spring 2010 deadline which Berry said he believed would be too demanding, as if saying, ‘Get this done.'

The senate voted in two new senators, Bryce Cody and Nicholas Gomes, bringing the total number of senators to 58. The senate is capped at 61 members.

Lukas Miedriech (L) ran 19 minutes of the SGA meeting on Tuesday night. (Patrick Holohan/The Chronicle)

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