SGA holds first meeting in DSU

Lashana Harney

The Student Government Association’s first meeting of the semester began in new chambers in Downing Student Union with the induction of eight new members.

On Tuesday, several new chairmen were approved for SGA’s various committees, including Student Affairs, Public Relations and Campus Improvement.

To teach new SGA members how to appropriately debate a topic and identify the proper structure of a piece of legislation, Jay Todd Richey, speaker of the senate, authored a fake resolution titled, “Establish a mandatory daily offering by all students to a statue of President Gary Ransdell.” 

Richey purposely filled the resolution with errors, such as grammar mistakes, and asked the senators to take a stance on replacing the Centennial Mall statue with a “really tall” statue of Ransdell. The “resolution” would force students to present offerings to the statue daily.

Administrative Vice President Liz Koehler, who oversees SGA’s budget, reported that the budget has sustained cuts. From last year’s budget of $125,500, SGA lost $2,000 in cuts and is left with $123,500. 

However, an anonymous donation added $15,000 to the budget, changing the original 2014-2015 budget from $123,500 to $138,500. The donation allowed about 39 additional scholarships for students for the winter and summer terms.

The Organizational Aid budget dropped to $25,000 from $30,000 because in previous years, the money wasn’t all spent, Koehler said. 

Office supplies went up about $850 because SGA ran out of supplies, such as scantrons and bluebooks, last year.

“We tried to make sure that everything we did benefited the students,” Koehler said.

Various SGA officials said the organization plans to tackle several issues this year, such as parking and transportation, campus cleanup and student participation in campus organizations. 

Bill 1-14-F, which addresses funding for the Preston Center membership voucher program, is scheduled for discussion during next Tuesday’s meeting. 

If the bill passes, 60 part-time students could obtain a voucher that pays for half of the semester membership fee at Preston, making it $17.50.

SGA President Nicki Seay said she looks forward to upcoming meetings.

“So far, we’ve got a good group of people,” she said. “We’re really excited to be altogether now in our new place. I’m expecting good things to happen because of our good leadership and I’m hoping it all trickles down from there.”