Post Classifieds

What is Your SGA Doing for You?

By Briana Gunter
On November 3, 2015

Be sure to let your student represetnatives know what you want or need from your experience at Concord!
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Budget cuts nowadays are inevitable, making the money and how you use it crucial.  The Student Government Association, otherwise known as SGA, was no exception when it came to budget cuts.  Losing nearly $15,000 or more from last year, the SGA started out this year with roughly $70,000.  Breaking that number down, $6,653.83 of that is required to be spent on in-house expenses, the Beckley campus is budgeted $1,500, Homecoming/Spring Fling account for $18,000, officer pay is $17,357.04, and that leaves $25,971.16 in the discretionary fund.  

While Spring Fling hasn’t occurred yet, there were several homecoming events that took place.  There was a week-long scavenger hunt, a trackless train that gave students rides to class, the all-time favorite game of bingo, blacklight put-put golf, bubble soccer, and other various activities.  While Homecoming was all fun and good, it raises the question of what else is being done by the SGA for the students. 

One good thing that the funds are used for are funds for student organizations.  Any organization with voting rights can receive funds for conferences, internal expenses, and various other reasons.  So far this semester the Film Society and Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity have received funds for various expenses.  The game room also received funds.  Every organization can request $1,500 over the course of a year.  However, that leaves quite a bit of funds to spend on other events for students and organizations.

Regardless of how their budget is spent, SGA is made up of several committees including; Housing and Dining, Safety/ADA, Beckley, Commuter, CUSAC, Higher Education, Publicity, and Technology.  According to the SGA bylaws article III, section III, subsections C and D respectively, the Vice President is to be the coordinator of all standing committees and commissions of the SGA.  In addition to overseeing Homecoming and Spring Fling, they are also supposed to serve as an ex-officio member of all committees and commissions of the Student Senate.  Basically, the Vice President is supposed to coordinate committees and make sure that they stay on task with their projects.  Committees meet weekly to address problems that are facing students on campus.  However, committees this semester don’t seem like they’ve been up to a whole lot.  Reflecting back on the SGA minutes, the Beckley campus this semester has sponsored a movie night and tie-dye night, a bonfire, a Star Wars night, brought Pottery Place to the Beckley campus and started Yoga Mondays.  Meanwhile, on the Athens campus, the main noteworthy things that have been done in the committees have been sponsoring a Blessings in a Backpack program, renaming the student section to “the UpRoar”, approving next year’s academic calendar, and the technology committee has been talking about updating the organization page on Concord’s website.  Even though the Beckley campus only has $1,500 allotted to them, it seems like they’ve already done more than the Athens campus for students, besides Homecoming events.  Speaking of Homecoming, the longest meeting that has been held so far this semester was one where Homecoming rules were discussed.  Over half an hour was spent discussing on whether or not to change the Lip Sync rules from having the music be between 5.5 minutes and 7.5 minutes to 5.5. to 9 minutes.  That was eventually shut down, then it was brought up that it should change to 6 to 8 minutes.  Not to worry, after 32 minutes of arguing, it was agreed upon to change the time to 6 to 8 minutes.

Executive members of SGA also have their own projects that they work on throughout the semester.  The President reported in a meeting on September 23 that her on-going projects included: setting up tours in the President’s house; spring move-in day; Night on the Town; a respect campaign; sexual assault awareness; working on the old handbook; and bringing summer camps to campus.  The Parliamentarian’s projects, which were discussed in that same meeting, included; updating the school and SGA website, getting access to lockers for commuters, and hosting another Color the Campus run.  However, over a month later, and the SGA website still only has minutes from Jan-March of last semester.  The Ombudsman is supposed to deal with student complaints that they receive throughout the semester.  In a meeting on Sept 9 it was requested that the cafeteria offer egg whites as a healthier alternative.  While the Ombudsman reported several times that they were going to speak with Aramark, nothing has come from that so far.  While egg whites may not be a pressing issue, consistency and following through with jobs are two important things that an executive member should exhibit.

While it isn’t the end of the semester yet, it doesn’t seem like the SGA has accomplished much this semester.  While there seems to be lots of planning for projects next semester, it’s important to keep students involved in some sort of way all throughout the semester.  SGA’s missions states that they “do hereby promise to maintain an organization to represent student interests, opinions, and actions at Concord University.”  During the beginning of the pool controversy, Dr. Boggess stated in an interview with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph on Oct 9 that they’ve “asked the SGA (student government organization) and some representatives of organizations here and they seemed to not be concerned.”  This exchange was not mentioned anywhere in the minutes.  In addition the fact that it wasn’t mentioned in the minutes, SGA failed to reach out to all the students on campus to get an accurate idea of how students actually felt about the pool closing.  Just with this instance SGA didn’t fulfill their mission to represent the student’s interests or opinions.

While SGA may be doing some things for the students of Concord University, there’s much more that they could and arguably should be doing for the students, not only with the funds they have, but the resources and skills that the members themselves have.  SGA meetings are held in the Stateroom in the Student Center on Wednesdays at 4:00 PM. Non-members can attend meetings if they wish, or officers have their hours posted outside the door of the SGA office on the third floor of the Student Center.  If students have any complaints about anything on campus, they can file a complaint to the Ombudsman by dropping off a complaint in the box outside the business office on the second floor of Marsh Hall.  It is important to realize that without student input, SGA has little to work with in regards to fulfilling students needs and interests, and they need students just as much as students need them. So, it is crucial to speak up and work cooperatively with your SGA executives to see the change you want on the Campus Beautiful. 


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