Sunday, October 7, 2012

SGA meeting notes [10-03-12]

I attended the October 3, 2012 meeting of Concord University's Student Government Association. The meeting was about an hour long and a few budgets being decided were the main happening.

It looks like the budgetary process is being done differently from previous years. In the past, the Budgetary committee would be formed, all organizations would turn in their budget requests, then the committee would meet one night (usually a Monday) and decide all budgets, with voting taking place at that Wednesday's meeting. Now, it looks like they're doing it on a come-as-they-go system, which doesn't seem too bad, I guess. Four budgets were passed at the meeting:

The game room received $350 for pool table equipment, video games, and etc... (that's what I wrote down; don't remember if more stuff was said). The Student Center, where the game room is housed, also chipped in $350.

The Film Society received $1500. Dr. Charles Brichford, faculty advisor to both the Film Society and the SGA, remarked that Concord has "one of the best film collections in the state," noting that there are a lot of obscure indie and foreign films in the collection. They show films weekly on campus and all films are available to be checked out at the library.

Phi Sigma Phi received $650 to cover fees relating to registration for a leadership convention they attended over the summer. Richard Babich, the attorney general, noted that he had been absent from the SGA for a year or so and asked when the SGA began covering things like this for Greek organizations. Vice President Chelsea Rowe said it began last year.

Student Support Services, which provides free tutoring for students, received an allocation of $3000 ($1500 per semester). This was just part of the money this group needs, and they are getting the rest from other sources. In the past, SSS has requested $8000 from the SGA.

There is $30,500 left for allocations for the entire school year, with $14,000 being left for this semester. If you are in an organization that would like to request money, budgetary forms are available at the SGA Office, on the third floor of the student center (formerly the computer center offices for those who have been at Concord forever).

One thing I'd like to address from the meeting is the Phi Sigma Phi allocation and the Attorney General asking a question about it. When everybody thinks the same way and acts the same, that's called a clique. A clique can be good or bad. If you're all focused on the same good things, it's good to have a tight clique of friends. If you're focused on getting your own agenda across, then surrounding yourself with your clique is not good.

This SGA looks like they have the best interest of the students at heart, which means they're doing a good job. But, they're veering dangerously into clique territory, which could become a bad thing. When Richard asked that innocent question (which I was also wondering) - when did the SGA begin paying for Greek organizations to attend conferences - you would have thought he picked up a kitten and punched it, given the negative reaction he received.

The reason for all of that negative reaction was due to the high Greek numbers in attendance. Richard questioning that allocation means he's indirectly questioning their allocations, and they did not like that. Instead of simply answering, "It started last year," the collective Greek community got defensive. And that's not good.

Years back, in my heyday covering the SGA, the Budgetary committee created a question that applied to giving money. If the answer was good, they would receive their allocation: How does this benefit the Concord community? Students use the game room, so there's money for that. Students need tutoring, so there's that. Students can benefit from having a diverse collection of films in their life. And that's why Greek organizations used to not receive money for things like that. The reason given was that it was a leadership conference, and those who attended can use those skills in other organizations. That seems valid enough, I guess.

It all comes back to what the student representatives in the meeting want to do. The Budgetary committee just recommends an allocation. It does not become official until it's voted on by all those present with voting paddles at the meeting. They can move to strike down the budget, to give more or less money. The voting members hold all the power, and one of my biggest problems with the SGA has been apathy and ignorance on the part of those voters. They are important and a lot either don't realize it or don't care.

We'll come back to that topic later, maybe... In other news:

The Vice President apologized for scheduling issues with the Monday and Tuesday Homecoming events. Apparently the Tuesday events happened on Monday and vice versa.

The SGA President said he had emailed Dr. George Towers about the Monday scheduling issues he spoke about last week. He is still waiting on a reply and will update everybody when he gets one.

It was announced that the library will now be open until midnight on Monday nights now. I'll give you more information if I get any. That was something that former SGA President Jeff Yeager tried to do, but after a trial run it proved to not be popular.

To bring up Richard Babich again, he came up to me after the meeting and gave me an update on the @CUSGA twitter issue. He said that the account is under the control of the Technology committee, but since committees haven't been formed yet, nobody is running the SGA twitter. If anybody at The Concordian staff interviews the SGA President for a big feature (hint, hint, story idea...) ask him about the committee thing. Ask him a lot of other, more positive, stuff too. But ask that one.

That's all I've got. If anybody wants to chime in, feel free.

Here's my disclaimer:

I import these blogs into Facebook. That gives me the option to "tag" people, sending them an e-mail notification. I tag people for two reasons - 1) if I mention you by name & 2) if I think you will find this interesting. If you are tagged and don't want to be, let me know. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be tagged in the future, let me know.

There is a comment feature on this blog & I don't mind if you use it. It's cool to disagree, as long as it's kept civil. Anonymous comments are allowed, as long as it's relevant & mildly profanity free.

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