SGA approves new chief of staff, funding for campus organizations

Taylor Harrison

The new chief of staff was approved by the senate at Tuesday night’s Student Government Association meeting.

After Katie Stillwell’s resignation, SGA President Billy Stephens chose Eric Smiley as her replacement. Smiley previously served as chief of staff two years ago under his brother Kevin Smiley’s administration.

“Great guy, has a lot of good ideas, he’s going to do a great job, always a great person to have around,” Stephens said while introducing Smiley.

Smiley said he absolutely enjoyed SGA his first time around.

“With the resignation, I know that they needed some help with somebody who had some experience closing out the year,” Smiley said.  “I don’t think they wanted to bring in anybody brand new because the year’s going to close so soon. So, they asked me if I’d be interested and I said I would, so I decided to take the position since I have a little experience.”

Announcements included a reminder that elections will begin at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and that the presidential candidates’ applications are up on the SGA website.

Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, the senate passed five pieces of legislation, two of which were Organizational Aid bills.

The first bill will allocate funding for the WKU Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Geology Club and the Chinese Music Club. Each organization will receive $500 for a total of $1,500. The second Organizational Aid bill also provided $500 each to three different organizations: Relay for Life, the International Club and the Baptist Campus Ministry.

SGA also approved funding for International Night 2012 at the meeting. This bill will allocate $500 toward International Night, which is an annual event held in the Downing University Center. The free event will be on April 19.

“It’s a night where there’s lots of food and dancing and people wear their native clothes and it’s just a fun thing to experience,” said Keyana Boka, one of the authors of the bill.

SGA provided two Kindle Fires to be given away in a drawing at the 42nd Annual WKU Student Research Conference last Saturday. However, due to the cancellation of the SGA meeting two weeks ago, a bill to approve $398 in funding for the Kindles could not be voted on until tonight.

The money to purchase the Kindles was originally taken from executive discretionary funding and since the bill regarding Kindle Fire allocations was passed tonight. Money will now be taken from general senate funding and put back into executive funding.

Big Red’s upcoming trip to the 2012 Mascot Nationals will have some of its funding provided by SGA. The senate passed a bill tonight allocating $500 to go toward Big Red’s trip on April 12-15.

A resolution was also passed at the meeting that states SGA will sponsor a Campus Cleanup, the second cleanup this year. It will be Tuesday, April 17.

The senate approved moving $3,000 from general senate funding to Organizational Aid funding so that SGA can spend all of its money before the end of the semester. This leaves about $5,000 in general senate funding.