The first Student Government Association (SGA) meeting of the 2012-2013 year was on September 9, 2012 in the Boutin Student Center on the Worcester campus. Approximately 12 guests joined in to voice concerns, ask questions, or purely to watch the meeting unfold.
The unanimous goal of the visitors was to have more campus activities. There did not seem to be a way for students at the time to get information on what events would be held in the near future. The major concern was the status of Cold Stone Creamery trips and movie trips. Also, students were concerned about the variety of foods available in the Boutin Student Center dining hall and Weller Building’s Hawk’s Nest. There was a proposal of distributing a survey for new dining hall hours as well.
SGA’s own Ray Sgambati was concentrated on having new rules implemented for smoking on campus. Proposed ideas included having smoking signs posted near entrances or possibly putting up a tent or gazebo for smokers. Clubs that attended included Tabletop Gaming, which seemed to be off to a good start, Campus Activities Board, Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), and the Mazunte Turtle Project, which had a Mexico trip planned for the future.
September 23 came around with fewer visitors, but with the same concerns. It had been decided that no trips to Cold Stone would occur in September. During the meeting, I was surprised to learn that the Worcester weight room was not open at the usual hours of previous semesters. It was rumored that the weight room would be closing. A guest came to discuss future activities for sophomore students and to construct a council, or committee, for the sophomore class.
SGA Vice President Kevin Finkelstein announced his plans for Becker to offer students free sandwiches during late-night hours. He was concerned that the dining hall was not open late enough and that students would go hungry before bed.
The meeting for club budgets was on September 30. The following clubs discussed their goals and received budgets: Animal Health Club, Black Student Union (BSU), Gay-Straight Alliance, Mazunte Turtle Project, Pre-Veterinary Club, SWAG, Ski & Snowboard Club, Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Tree Club, and our own Student Government Association. It was decided that more student groups should form and that SGA should provide adequate resources for those groups. Also, discount movie tickets would be available for October.
On October 14, the Gay-Straight Alliance announced results for surveys that had been handed out. Of the 129 students and staff who responded, 95% were LGBT friendly. Similar surveys were planned for the future. International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and Music Club both joined and announced plans to start up. Tabletop Gaming returned to announce growth in membership and to ask for funding. Approximately 11 guests attended. Their concerns this time were SGA members making rude comments against visitors, the low usage of the new Fuller Student Center on the Leicester campus on the weekends, and a nurse needed on the Worcester campus. Proposals made were a bike rack for Willow Hall, a fourth washing machine in Willow Hall, physical ads for upcoming activities, advertisements on HawkTV, more off-campus activities, and weekly on-campus Worcester activities on Thursdays and Fridays. President Johnson was said to visit at the next meeting.
The college President joined us on October 21. He wanted to know what our concerns were. A conversation began on an attempt to boost security on the Worcester campus. More lighting at night, possibly floodlights on buildings, was proposed. Christian Student Union joined to announce plans to start up again after seemingly being dormant. A number of SGA members were interested in inviting motivational speaker, Eric Thomas, to speak at Becker one night as well.
This meeting was interesting in that stricter rules for SGA members were discussed. A handful of members were missing on one too many Sundays. Probation and punishment for executives who misbehave was proposed and would lead into impeachment and removal from office. One of the SGA members was impeached for missing the majority of meetings. A grade point average of 2.5 was also added to the rules in order for someone to be a member. On November 4, training would begin for SGA members.
On November 4, the Student Nurses Club budget was approved. Sophomore Year Experience was said to have a good turnout, but needed to get the word out of its existence. SGA Vice President, Kevin, had been working on the midnight sandwiches idea for some time; the business plan was being created at that moment. Security cameras and lighting for parking lots in Worcester was discussed, and a Student Safety Committee was proposed. The Student Government has its own lounge in the Boutin Student Center that was not being used. Each member had office hours to overlook its running. Members were not completing office hours. They were advised to start doing so at the meeting.
On November 11, recycling in the residence halls was discussed. More bins were needed, or the bins available needed to be emptied more often. It was discovered that of the college activity e-mails sent out, 11% were opened. A meeting to discuss the long talked-about smoking signs was to be scheduled. It was also announced that an emerging leaders program, BLUE Crew, would be starting in the spring. As an update to the previous week’s problem with office hours, members were not able to enter the lounge because keys for the door were not available.
The last meeting occurred on November 25. A Commuter Committee was proposed and SGA gained a new Parliamentarian and a Sophomore Class Vice President. Both President and Vice President of the Freshman Class had positions up for grabs.
To end Fall 2012 for SGA, the members enjoyed dinner together on December 6 at Buca di Beppo.
Brendan Testa, Staff Writer