Debates, resolutions highlight Feb. 3 SA meeting

J. Michael Bertsch, News and Lifestyles Editor

Multiple resolutions were up for debate and eventually postponed at the South Dakota State University Students’ Association Feb. 3 alongside an already full schedule.

To begin the meeting, the Senate heard from the Vice President for Division of Research and Economic Development, Daniel Scholl.

Scholl primarily focused on South Dakota House Bill 1100, which, if passed, will reserve $1 million to the Board of Regents for the development of a new bioprocessing facility.

“The one-time funds will be dedicated to architecture and engineering,” Scholl said. “The purpose of the plan is to provide a design development plan for a pre-pilot, bioprocessing and value added agriculture processing research and development laboratory.”

According to the bill, the facility will “be located in Brookings, SD with collaboration from South Dakota State University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and industry partners.”

HB 1100 will soon be heard by the Joint Committee on Appropriations.

In addition to the bioprocessing lab, the Senate heard from David Reynolds, the director of the School of Performing Arts, about the school’s growth since the opening of the Performing Arts Center, their use of GAF money and the accreditation process.

“Even in a year of decline, participation increased by 6% last year,” Reynolds said. “We now have eight theatre majors on $2,500 scholarships.” 

Reynolds also informed the Senate that the school is in the process of receiving reaccreditation. 

“The visit and the report is the beginning of a conversation,” Reynolds said. “The last time it took about 18 months working through that process to get us fully accredited for the next ten years.”

After the public forum, the Senate addressed three resolutions: Resolution 19-06-R Pride Month, Resolution 19-07-R Location Tracking and Resolution 19-08-R Support for HB 1081.

Resolution 19-06-R stated that SA would recognize June 2020 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. This bill was heavily debated.

Supporters of the resolution focused on the celebration of diversity on SDSU campus.

“The whole point is to celebrate LGBT inclusion on campus,” said the resolution’s prime sponsor, Sen. Dustin Manzey. “Right now people who are part of this community are currently being marginalized by this state.”

However, those against this resolution argued that it was not inclusive enough.

“We’d have to be writing resolutions every week to cover all of the months celebrating diversity,” Sen. Megan Kellen said.

Another argument against the resolution was the timeline. The current SA term is slated to end before the recognition of pride month is scheduled.

The resolution was moved to be postponed indefinitely as a way to stop the resolution without taking an official vote.

“The reason I have moved to postpone indefinitely to kill this motion is I do not feel confident that this resolution would pass,” Communications Chair Nick Lorang said. “As bolstering as it would be for transgender or queer people in South Dakota, it would be damaging for it to fail.”

Resolution 19-06-R was postponed indefinitely by a voice vote. 

The Senate then began discussing Resolution 19-07-R, a resolution discouraging the use of location-based attendance tracking. 

“Our concern is this is a very new technology,” said Sen. Kellen. “There’s other apps not the Turning Point app that other schools use that track a student’s location all the time.” 

Though this resolution did spark discussion amongst the senators, much of the discussion was attempting to clear up confusion of the senators. 

SA voted to postpone the resolution until Feb. 24 for research and due-diligence. 

After two controversial resolutions, the Senate discussed Resolution 19-08-R, “SDSU Students’ Association Support for HB 1081 Regarding the Production and Storage of Alcohol for Certain Purposes at Postsecondary Institutions.”The resolution passed unanimously. 

Near the end of the SA meeting, three new Senators, Jesus Hernandez, Zebadiah Johnson and Caleb Huizeng were sworn in as new Senators-At-Large. 

The next Students’ Association meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 10, in the Lewis and Clark Room of the Student Union.