Friday, September 28, 2012

Concord SGA meeting notes [09-26-12]

I attended the 09-26-12 meeting of @CUSGA. Here are a few notes.

Josh Hanna, SGA President, noted that he had a discussion with "somebody" (who was later identified as George Towers, Associate Academic Dean, although nobody said his position during the meeting). Dr. Towers spoke with Josh about the fact that Concord University needs to add another day of Monday classes (next semester presumably; it was never mentioned when), due to losing too many Mondays from breaks.

This has been an issue for years. Monday night classes never seem to be meeting enough, due to the fact that the semester starts on a Wednesday (so there's one class period gone), Labor Day (so there's a second Monday gone), Fall Break (there's a third Monday gone), and Thanksgiving Break (a fourth Monday gone).

Dr. Towers presented Josh with four options to bring an extra Monday into the equation. Josh shared them with the SGA body and asked them for their opinion. The options are:

1) Remove Monday and Tuesday from Thanksgiving Break.

2) Start Monday instead of Wednesday at the beginning of the semester.

3) Have class during the first Monday of finals week, then finals would go from Tuesday until the following Monday.

4) Have class during the first Monday of finals week, then finals would be from Tuesday-Friday.

Nobody seemed to like the idea of options 1, 3, and 4. Most of the people there probably didn't know that finals used to only be a 4-day week, with tests from Monday-Thursday. So, option 4 used to be in play, sort of.

Option 2, which is what most universities do already, was the general consensus of the best choice. Some brought up issues that could arise with that, including added stress and workload to the Housing staff, who would likely have to move freshmen and upperclassmen in at the same time. And, also, how would it affect freshmen orientation activities, since that Monday and Tuesday before classes are used for those purposes.

Josh said he would get back to Dr. Towers with that information. We'll see what happens from there.

As a sidenote, if I can offer any sort of advice to President Hanna, it would be to explain things better to those at the meeting. Most of those people probably have no idea who Dr. Towers is or why he's important and a lot of them were confused as to why we needed to add an extra Monday class. Assume nobody knows anything. Start from the beginning and explain things fully and easily.

The other important thing to happen at the SGA meeting was that student representatives for the Concord University Student Affairs Committee (abbreviated CUSAC, pronounced Q-Sack) were voted on. The members are: SGA Vice President Chelsea Rowe, Zack Whitfield, Drew [didn't get his last name], and James Blankenship. I believe one of those guys is the SGA Parliamentarian and the other two are Senators, but I don't recall which is which. [I realized I was covering the SGA a lot back in the day when I no longer had to look up how to spell Parliamentarian...]

During the meeting, it was attempted to explain what Q-Sack is. I like to think of Q-Sack as one of the more important committees at Concord. I doesn't necessarily have a lot of power, but rather a lot of influence. It's comprised of students, faculty, and staff and they meet to discuss ways to try and make Concord a better place. They then take their ideas to the higher committees that actually get things done.

Things that the Q-Sack have looked into in years past have been issues surrounding dorm visitation hours, expanding tailgating to baseball games, and looking into creating a new scholarship system that was ultimately unsuccessful (click here to see a blog I wrote about it). Not everything Q-Sack works on becomes reality, but they usually have a lot of good ideas.

Those are the two biggest things from the meeting. If anybody wants to add anything else, please feel free.

Some commentary: I still don't know what's going on with regular committees. Is there a reason that nobody is chairing the Technology, Dining, Safety, ADA, SGA Affairs, etc... committees? 

As a final note, I tweeted on Wednesday that the SGA should start updating their twitter account more. Attorney General Richard Babich replied via tweet and said he would look into that. SGA Transparency has been an issue I have written about for years. Read this blog from 2010. Change some of the names around and put 2012 into the date and it's still relevant - http://chrisslater.blogspot.com/2010/11/sga-transparency.html

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