Student government discusses plans for the fall semester
Essence Boyd — News Editor
Student Government Association held their first meeting of the year touching on their past and future plans for the university.
The meeting was held on Friday Sept. 6 in a new location of Engleman B121. The meeting started off with light commentary and introductions starting with re-elected president Alexis Zhitomi.
As the election process for the class of 2023 representatives has yet to begin, prospective students attended in search of what student government really means.
“It is not always an easy job to do this because sometimes progress is slow, but we have achieved really great things in student government over the years and that is what we aim to do every year,” said Zhitomi.
During her speech Zhitomi made sure to make the responsibilities of what came along with holding a position on the board clear reassuring the perspective council just how many students they would potentially represent.
“We represent the entire undergraduate student body so that means there are approximately 7,000 of us,” said Zhitomi. ”
Although the council is usually composed of 25 elected members, there are currently only 18 positions being filled. Elections take place during the month of September and students who are interested are able to run and fill the vacant spots.
“Yes, it can be overwhelming that just means our voice holds a lot of power and that with certain be we are ready to advocate whatever it is that we are talking about,” said Zhitomi.
As an incentive to help students last semester, the idea of turning some of the organizations budget into scholarships was purposed and was revisited during Friday’s meeting.
“SGA has a large budget, we’re about shy of a million-dollar budget,” said Zhitomi. “One of the ideas out of last semester was to take some of that money and create a scholarship out of it.”
Although SGA has given out awards prior on its own, this would be the first time the organization would be giving out awards through the university.
“So, SGA does right now fund several scholarships on its own, whether that’s study abroad scholarships, or research scholarships,” said Zhitomi.
For the remainder of the meeting, elected SGA members stated what issues their branches would be tackling in the upcoming semester; amongst the topics discussed in the meeting was campus security.
According to newly elected Vice President of the Board of Student Experience, Katia Bagwell said one of the biggest concerns on campus revealed in the 2017 Campus Climate survey was the lack of campus security.
“We took a Campus Climate survey in 2017 and one of the biggest issues here on campus was that students didn’t necessarily feel safe on campus at night,” said Bagwell.
Newly elected Vice President of the Board of Academic Experience Sarah Gossman, said her branch’s main goal is to ease the stress academic expenses may inflict upon students.
“We do recognize that students struggle with textbook prices,” said Gossman. “I am open to anything, I must look outside my own academic experiences on campus and focus on what other people are affected by.
Photo: Izzy Manzo