This covers the SGA meeting on March 5.
Sophomore Marleny Salas expressed concern about the evening EcoGrounds shift. Salas explained that the shift includes long hours and requires a lone employee to clean and make all the drinks on their own. According to Salas, the previous employee who worked this EcoGrounds shift, Randy Gibbons, quit in part because the shift was too demanding for one person. President Amulya Deva, junior, said that SGA will look into it.
CAMPUS CLIMATE CHECK
President Deva asked how many members of SGA attended the dining services town hall last week. Only treasurer Hannah Larson, junior, went. Larson said the town hall was informative but not well attended.
Deva asked how tabling in Coates went last week. Sophomore senator Benjamin Gonzalez said he went, but didn’t get many responses from students. Junior senator Julia Shults agreed, saying that there wasn’t much foot traffic, even when Coates is usually busy, like during lunch hours. (Gonzalez is an opinion columnist for the Trinitonian.)
STUDENT ACTIVITY FEE AND STUDENT WAGES
After Recreational Sports requested money at the SGA meeting last week, senators questioned why the student activity fee (SAF) pays for student wages. Recreational Sports is a university-sponsored organization (USO) and is funded by the SAF. However, part of this funding includes the wages of student workers.
President Deva welcomed Gary Logan, vice president of finance and administration, to explain why the SAF covers some student jobs. According to Logan, in 2012, the student government group made an agreement with the university to forfeit four percent of the SAF and to control the remainder. This negotiation included covering student wages of certain USOs, like Campus Publications and Recreational Sports.
Ultimately, Logan said nothing can be changed for this budget cycle, but that the university and SGA should look into negotiating a new agreement in the future.
After Logan’s presentation, senior Daniel Conrad, editor-in-chief of the Trinitonian, explained how the SAF’s funding of student wages affects the Trinitonian. According to Conrad, the university gets reimbursed by the federal government for participating in the federal work-study program, but the university does not reimburse SGA or the SAF with that money.
The Trinitonian pays its employees with money raised by selling advertisements, donations to the newspaper and an annual allocation from the SAF. But Conrad said that it seems remiss that the reimbursements made payments to students on federal work-study is not returned to Campus Publications or to SGA. He provided a flyer explaining the issue to the senators and cabinet. Logan suggested not offering federal work-study positions via the Trinitonian in future years and also offered to discuss specifics at a later time. President Deva asked senators interested in following up to create a committee.
Jamie Thompson, director of Student Involvement and chair of the renovation committee, updated SGA on the process behind the renovation of Coates University Center. Thompson explained that Coates will be under reconstruction after spring break, the start of the first phase of the renovation. For this process, the Commons and Einstein Bros. will only be accessible from the south side of the building, the restrooms will not be accessible, but the elevators will be. Phase two will start once the bookstore relocates.
Vice president Rachel Daniel, junior, updated SGA on the status of a $40,000 loan given to the Mirage last spring. SGA has been working under the belief that it will receive 75 percent of the loan back, but Mirage has told SGA that it will refund the entire amount of the loan, which puts the amount left in the SAF at over $26,000.
Recreational Sports returned for the request of $14,000 to fund student workers’ wages. The full amount was approved.
HOW TO TABLE
President Deva gave a presentation on how to table for those who may not be familiar with tabling for SGA. Deva prioritized asking people how SGA is doing and talking about SGA’s main goals, which include awareness, transparency, efficiency and fiscal responsibility.
President Deva reminded members present of the SGA awareness campaign, created to help keep people up to date with what SGA is doing. This includes using BCycle and encouraging meeting attendance.
Vice president Daniel asked for three or four members to volunteer to be on a search committee for a new physician. Daniel reminded the senate that there is $12,305.68 left in the SAF.