SGA talks election and future plans

Ellis McGinleyManaging Editor

The university’s Student Government Association convened for their weekly meeting in Engleman Friday, Sept. 17, just after 1 p.m. Campaigning for new student government representatives will begin Sept. 27. Candidates can use both in-person and virtual platforms, including social media and flyers.  

Voting, according to Gossman and the association, will last from Oct. 4 to Oct. 8, and representatives will be inducted at the first meeting after an approximately one-week grace period to allow for resolution of any conflict during the election process. The class of 2025 currently has openings in all officer positions. SGA president Sarah Gossman gave both the vice president and secretary’s reports in those officers’ absences. 

 According to Vice President of the Board of Student Experience Brandon Iovene, a senior, “this week was a really exciting week. I learned how to cast my laptop onto the TV and we were able to look pretty in-depth into the 10-year master plan.”  

The masterplan is an outline, developed in 2014 and presented in 2015, of the next 10 years of projects the university aims to complete on-campus.  

“It was a very in-depth, very comprehensive look into projected enrollment numbers, projected space needs for the next 10 years,” Iovene said. “It helped the company who produces the masterplan figure out what things needed to be added to campus, like buildings, what buildings needed to be renovated — just kind of, like, making Southern’s campus look revitalized, cohesive and part of why we were looking at that masterplan, what’s so important about it, is because space utilization is a big deal.”  

SGA’s primary focus regarding the masterplan regards what space student organizations need which would be provided or affected.  

“What we found in the masterplan is that the stuff that was on the docket to be done would be very beneficial to the student body. Problem being a lot of the stuff that was planned to be done by 2025 most likely won’t be done given budget changes and enrollment numbers. Their projected enrollment numbers by 2025 were far more than what they’ve become now, given everything that’s going on with COVID. Not to mention in 2014, when the study was being done, the amount of students at Southern was more than the amount of students in 2021,” said Iovine.  

Iovene said, the Student Advisory Committee to the university’s Board of Regents convened at their first BOR meeting of the semester. Iovene said, they are still sorting out an executive board but once they do, the Chair and Vice Chair will  

“…have the ability to have their vote included” in BOR votes “if there’s anything happening on a larger scale that’s broadly impacting Southern or broadly impacting us on a broader scale.” 

 Iovene also discussed plans with Daphney Alston, SGA advisor and assistant director of student involvement and leadership, regarding planned renovations in the resource room. 

“The whole point is to make it an inviting space, but also multifunctional. At the present moment, a lot of clubs and organizations need that space,” Iovene said.  

Representative Krista Jones, speaking for the Board of Academic Experience, discussed plans to work with the campus bookstore as well as monitor and survey changes in class modality, or whether classes meet in-person, online or in hybrid format.  

“So basically, what we discussed in the [board] meeting was having a meeting with Larry Gal, who is in charge of the bookstore from what I understand, we’re meeting him to discuss bookstore pricing and how that all works,” she said.  

The board is currently preparing questions for Gal regarding bookstore logistics. 

 “We also talked about the modality situation that I discussed last week,” Jones said. “I’m sort of starting to create, like, a modality tracker in which we’re going to take all the courses that are supposed to be happening in the spring, write down what their modality is at the moment, and then check back in October and see what’s changed, and then again at the start of the spring semester,” she said. “If there are a lot of changes, we can have documented evidence and we can bring it to the next step if it’s clear it’s becoming more of an issue.” 

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