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Speaker of the Senate Ian Pearson listens to a speaker at a Feb. 2 SGA Senate meeting.

DeKALB — The SGA Senate will have fewer seats to fill with spring elections around the corner, with the aim of making the elections more competitive.

The Senate passed three pieces of legislation Sunday that alter the language of the SGA’s Constitution, Bylaws and Senate Operating Manual.

The alterations reduce the total number of Senate seats from 40 to 30, the number of seats per district from eight to six and the maximum number of seats that may be filled in the spring elections from 35 to 25.

Speaker of the Senate Ian Pearson said one of his goals is to increase competition, and one method of doing so is by lowering the number of chairs in districts where few candidates typically compete for positions.

“I really wanted to pass this now so that way we could see what it does in the elections,” Pearson said. “If the elections show that this is not a good move for that, we should set ... a different number. Then we amend [the language] one more time before the end of the year to take effect next year.”

Senator Kaelyn Nannini said she supports amending the Constitution. She said SGA Senate membership should be a more competitive process since the organization desires students who possess strong leadership skills.

“We want people who are active and actually making changes, … not just people who are joining for the fact of joining or resume-building,” she said.

Community Service Director Clayton Schopfer said he was uncomfortable supporting the resolution unless it specified that candidates from more competitive districts could fill empty seats in other districts.

“It doesn’t make sense to me to have open spots when there are candidates who are pursuing to be [in] the Senate,” he said. “So I do think it’s essential that we get that cleared up before we make a decision like this where we’re limiting the amount of people from each district who can sit on the Senate.”

Public Affairs Chairperson James Holmes said a solution to Schopfer’s concern would need to be addressed in future legislation.

“I don’t think that an answer [is] going to come tonight,” Holmes said. “I think right now we’re going to have to vote on what we see right here.”

The resolutions to amend the Constitution, the Senate Operating Manual and the bill to amend the Bylaws, passed 18-1, 19-0 and 19-0 respectively, each with two abstentions.

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