By Jennifer Rogers/Editor

Until Tuesday night, there had been little debate in student senate meetings on the finer points of the proposal for shared governance, which would combine the Residence Hall Association, Centerboard, the First Weekend Committee and the Student Government Association. But a motion from Public Relations Committee chair Beth Schmidt changed that.The senate was in the process of approving the necessary changes to the SGA constitution and the senate bylaws that would accommodate the reorganization, when Schmidt proposed lowering the GPA standard student representatives must have in order to serve on SGA.

Under the proposal the SGA would be made of the student senate, a Residence Life Council, and a Student Activities Council, all of which would include student representatives. Schmidt’s proposal would have made the minimum GPA requirement for students in those organizations 2.0.

The current minimum GPA is 2.5.

The proposal was defeated, but not without opposition.

Schmidt introduced her proposal by showing senators a list of Eastern’s benchmark schools, nearly all of which require SGA members to have a 2.0, which is also the minimum graduation requirement.

Schmidt argued that the graduation requirement and the SGA requirement needed to be the same. She said lowering the requirement would make more students eligible for representative positions and would in turn increase involvement.

“We cannot allow students to govern themselves if we’re excluding people,” she said.

But other senators disagreed.

“The people who are really serious about their GPAs are going to make better senators,” said Election Committee Chair Kevin Coots.

Senator Kristina O’Brien pointed out that making the GPA requirement the same as graduation requirements allowed senators no “breathing room” if their GPAs should fall.

The senate went on to approve the constitutional changes, which describe the structural changes the shared governance proposal would actually implement.