Student Senate elects Rhone to serve as Senate President Pro-Tempore

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Alexis Butler, Senior Staff Reporter/Writer

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The 2019-20 Student Senate selected Trentqual Rhone as the Senate President Pro-Tempore. Rhone is a junior political science major from Selma, Ala.

As the senate pro-tempore, Rhone will serve as second in command to Tyler Rice, who serves as the senate president by way of his position as student body executive vice president. Rice is a junior finance major from Mobile, Ala.

“When the senate president can not physically be at the meeting, the pro-tempore will step into that role,” Rhone explained.

He is also responsible for assisting in the training of new senators. As a second-year senator, Rhone is no stranger to the operations of the legislative branch of government.

Sen. Brittany Hume-Dawson, a junior biology-pre-health major, serves as a parliamentarian and one of the senators for the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (C-STEM).

She believes that Rhone’s selection was a good choice.

“When he came to us for confirmation, he had a letter for us,” Hume-Dawson said. “He was very prepared, explained all of the goals he wanted to accomplish in this position, and he seems to take his position very seriously. So, he was the choice for me, and I think he’s doing a great job.”

As thesenate president pro-tempore, one of Rhone’s primary goals is to train and teach the Robert Rules Of Order and parliamentary procedure to new senators; these are rules that define how situations should be handled during legislative branch meetings.

The senators have not yet been through training, but Rice plans to reach out to former Student Body President Travis Smith and have him come in for hands-on administrative training. According to Rhone, this training will take place no later than the end of October.

His second goal is to change the requirements for the student government association (SGA) officers. He hopes to raise the GPA and credit hour requirements for the president and vice president. With raising these requirements, Rhone hopes that we will be able to mirror the SGA requirements of other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUS).

“Being in SGA is a big responsibility and it’s time consuming. SGA members should be viewed as leaders inside and outside of the classroom.”

Student Body Treasurer Aliyah Muhammad who ran against Rhone during last year’s Spring elections had mixed feelings.

“I think this is a positive change for the executive branch, and it gives our students that extra push,” Muhammad said. “Because this is a school of opportunity I think we should give students the chance to still be apart of the legislative and judicial branches and keep those requirements the same.”

During the 2019-20 school year, Rhone would also like to request that Student Body President Whitlow call for a special election. This special election will allow students to vote on constitutional amendments ahead of time.

“We don’t want to wait until April and then it may or may not go on the ballot; we want to be prepared,” Rhone said. “We need at least ten percent of the student body for it to get passed on to the board of trustees for review.”

While focusing on amendments, Rhone wants to do inside work with the senators to improve the quality of their work. He mentioned that the senators focus on a lot of things outside of the senate. This year, he wants to ensure that they focus on themselves and how they can improve to represent the student body effectively.

“I feel like Senate President Pro Tempore Rhone is a very capable individual,” Rice said. “He has had student government experience, a passion for the student body and is knowledgeable in regards to the student body constitution. I am certain the Student Senate made the right decision by appointing Rhone as Senate President Pro-Tempore.”