Jan. 27 SA meeting in brief: Senators gear for legislative session


J. Michael Bertsch, News and Lifestyles Editor

With a visit from the mayor of Brookings, a new student organization constitution, an amendment for debate and an executive session, the South Dakota State University Students’ Association had a full schedule for their Jan. 27 session.

The session began with a visit from Brookings, Mayor Keith Corbett. The mayor made clear his intention was to remain brief, considering the Students’ Associations full schedule, but had a few big points he wanted to hit.

“I think it’s important to say thank you,” Corbett said. “The bottom line is, you have great ideas.”

The mayor also focused on one of his biggest concerns for the coming year: increasing the Brookings population for the 2020 census.

“We’re right at about that 25,000 number … [the] census doesn’t care,” Corbett said. “All the things you want — more shopping, more restaurants — are only going to happen if those numbers go up.”

When Corbett opened the floor for questions, the South Dakota legislative session was a topic of interest for both parties. This included reaching out to legislators regarding HB 1057, a recently proposed bill aimed to restrict procedures transgender patients under the age of 16 are able receive.

“I was told I’ve called too many representatives,” Corbett said. “I wrote a letter to the House of Representatives saying ‘Brookings will not stand by for this.’”

Corbett ended with advice to the student senators regarding elected officials in Pierre during the legislative session.

“They’re paid by us to do a job for us. Engage with them. Stay informed,” Corbett said.

After the presentation by the mayor, SA heard an update from the Quarter Scale Tractor team representative, Tate Ketelhut.

“We receive a stock 31-hp engine and the tires and we have to build the rest of it,” Ketelhut said about the Quarter Scale Tractor competitions. “The main event is the tractor pull. … You hook up a weighted sled and see how far you can pull it.”

Other categories included in the competitions are durability, maneuverability, technical inspection, design judging and oral design presentation.

Later on in the meeting, the Young Americans for Freedom, a new student organization focusing on political discussion, presented their constitution to the Senate.

“We’re going to try to step away from political parties,” Young Americans for Freedom Vice Chairman Ryan Vlaminck said. “Try to find a common ground.”

The constitution was approved through a voice vote.

The Senate then debated Amendment 19-06-A, “An Amendment Prohibiting Candidates from Using the Corporation Name to Reserve Tables along Main Street in the University Student Union.” This amendment is specifically for those running for Senate positions in the future.

The amendment passed unanimously.

After approval of calendar items for the next week’s meeting, the Senate began an executive session. An executive session is a private meeting of the body in which non-voting members cannot be present. No action can be taken during an executive session, only discussion between members of the body.

The next Students’ Association meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 3, in the Lewis and Clark Room of the Student Union. During this meeting, the Senate will discuss Resolution 19-06-R , “SDSU Students’ Association Recognition of the Month of June 2020 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month,” and Resolution 19-07-R,“SDSU Students’ Association Discouragement of Location-Based Attendance Tracking through the TurningPoint Mobile Application.”