The majority of the Student Government Association Senate meeting Feb. 1 was spent discussing the controversial senate amendment to strip SGA President James Wells of his ex-officio status.
Senators said the amendment was needed to repair a conflict of the senate bylaws and the SGA constitution and discussed the pros and cons of the amendment for more than 30 minutes.
The senate eventually voted on the legislation; the amendment received 61 percent of the vote, but because amendments need two-thirds support to be passed, the legislation was struck down.
Senator Trevor Holland opposed the bill and said Wells has "a lot of experience" that could be useful.
"It's beneficial to the student body," Holland said. "Take that right away and it would be a huge negative."
There was a lot of support for the bill from other senators, however, including Senator Zoe Taylor.
"The constitution stands for a reason," Taylor said. "It's the balancing of power, not the taking away of power."
The amendment could still be sent to the senate judiciary committee, which will then determine the constitutionality of the amendment.
During the meeting, the Senate also moved forward with its new gender-inclusive resolution.
The resolution was presented on the Senate floor and will set up a system for transgender and gender non-conforming students to live in special "pods" in the residence halls that accommodate such a layout.
Currently, Ball State is one of three Mid-American Conference schools that does not have a gender inclusivity policy.
Senator Kam Bontrager, one of the authors of the bill, said many students who are gender non-conforming or transgender feel "uncomfortable" in the current housing setup.
Transgender and gender non-conforming students will be able to opt-in to live with other students who also choose to do so, and they will share a bathroom with the other students who live in their "pod."
SGA hopes to test the program next year with a small group of students who have lived on campus for at least two semesters, and senators hope to have it fully implemented by 2021.
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