SGA discusses strategic planning, passes two bills

Nicole Ziege

The Student Government Association held a student forum to discuss the five strategic Pplanning committees at the start of its meeting on Tuesday.

The committees include Student Success and Experience, Academic Innovation and Excellence, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors, and Budgeting, Efficiency and Infrastructure. These committees were created by President Timothy Caboni to help guide the university in planning for the next 10 years.

Each committee had four minutes to discuss the goals in place for the university and strategies for how to achieve those goals. There was a question-and-answer session with students following the presentations.

SGA Chief of Staff Conner Hounshell presented for the Student Success and Experience committee, Administrative Vice President Kara Lowry presented for the Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors committee, Bowling Green junior Francisco Serrano presented for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and SGA President Andi Dahmer presented for the Academic Innovation and Excellence committee and the Budgeting, Efficiency and Infrastructure committee, although she said she is not an official representative of those committees.

Dahmer called the forum “the most integral part” of the Senate meeting.

“We want to make sure that students have voice and representation in everything that goes on here,” Dahmer said.

In the Student Success and Experience presentation, Conner Hounshell said the goal for the committee was defining the “student and institutional identity” of WKU, and the first committee meeting focused on that goal.

“We were pretty unsuccessful in this field, so that will probably come up later,” Hounshell said.

During the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion presentation, Bowling Green junior Francisco Serrano said the goal of the committee was to create a “sense that everyone here belongs here.”

“The big thing that we decided is to create that environment where we can all be more culturally competent,” Serrano said.

During the Academic Innovation and Excellence presentation, Dahmer said the goal of the committee was “to make sure that students are engaged and learning processes.”

“We’re not aspiring to be everything to everybody so really focusing in on what it is that we do well and then honing in on those skills and then finding out what will make us the student’s first choice academically,” Dahmer said.

After the forum ended, SGA voted on three bills and two resolutions.

The first bill, Bill 31-17-F, proposed funding $2,480 to the Queer Student Union, Transgender and Non-Binary Student Group, Project Pengyou, Nonprofit Student Association, Major Redz and MBA Student Association. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate.

The second bill, Bill 32-17-F, proposed removing the first reading of legislation to “expedite the passing of legislation,” according to the bill. The bill failed for lack of motion to approve in the Senate.

The last bill, Bill 34-17-F, proposed funding $30 for printing posters to advertise for the “Make Your Voice Heard” series. The series will be a “compilation of sexual assault survivors’ stories,” according to Bill 34-17-F.

“Sexual assault is a prominent problem on many college campuses, including WKU,” according to Bill 34-17-F. “In order to help raise awareness for this issue and provide an avenue for WKU students to safely and anonymously disclose their own experiences as survivors of sexual assault, SGA will offer a place to share their stories and make their voices heard.”

Bill 34-17-F passed unanimously in the Senate.

The first resolution, Resolution 6-17-F, proposed supporting the “adoption of a recycling program for Greek housing.” The resolution passed unanimously in the Senate.

The last resolution, Resolution 7-17-F, proposed supporting LGBTQ students by “standing with those requesting the Bowling Green City Commission pass a Fairness Ordinance,” according to Resolution 7-17-F.

“There is incredible persuasive power behind passing this resolution and it is something that is not in deviation of SGA policy right now,” legislative research committee chair Lily Nellans said. “It’s just more explicit.”

Lily Nellans co-authored Resolution 7-17-F with senator Mark Clark and Serrano.

With a 34-2 vote, the resolution passed in the Senate.

Reporter Nicole Ziege can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].