Two things happened on August 28, 2013: The first, Ashley Green had a birthday and second, the Concord University Student Government Association held its first meeting of the academic year.
A couple things are different for me this semester. The most important is that - barring any unforeseen financial aid issues - I am a registered student at Concord and taking classes. I'm no longer that weird guy who just shows up. And the reason I was that weird guy showing up is because the SGA is important. What they did last semester impacted this semester. I wasn't a student then, but I was planning on being here in the fall, so I needed to keep up with them.
As we've gotten into in the past, the 2012-2013 SGA kind of dropped the ball. There was potential for them to do a lot of good and they really didn't. So, the pressure is on for this year's SGA to fight for more than root beer taps and to actually be that strong voice working in the best interest for the student body.
This next point really needs harped on: the students of Concord University give tuition money to the SGA. Somebody correct me if the numbers have changed, but each student gives roughly $26 to the SGA. They then do things with that money. Your money. They need to be held accountable and that's why I write about the meetings. That's why a reporter from The Concordian needs to be present at every meeting.
Nice segue: Am I a reporter for The Concordian? No. I hung out at their first staff meeting because I didn't have anything else to do. I might send in the occasional piece on the opinions section here and there. But, I have no official affiliation with the staff. We're on good terms; I haven't been accused of stealing office equipment for a few years now.
I am, however, a staff member of Concord University's radio station: WVCU, The Cure. And, yeah, I know that name sounds dumb. I'm not really in there by choice. Well, I am. I have a class where we write things for TV and the radio. It was suggested that it would be beneficial to join one of those since you could use those class assignments for the staff you pick.
And, so I'm a member of the radio station. I have a radio show every Wednesday from noon until 1 p.m. I'm still getting the hang of that. I'm going to try and essentially make it a spoken version of my blog. You know, interesting Concord-related stuff and some other stuff.
I also have a "radio beat." They were asking around at a staff meeting saying, "Who wants to write small reports about the SGA?" I was being quiet and trying to avoid eye contact when a friend of mine chimed in, "Chris would probably be good at that." I didn't want to do that, but I'm doing it anyway. So, you'll see some sort of reporting on the radio about the SGA from me. As I figure out more, I'll let you know.
Anyway, here are my notes from the SGA meeting. If I get anything wrong, feel free to correct me. If you'd like to add anything, the comment section is here and on Facebook.
SGA President Chelsey Rowe is in the middle. Vice President Greg Stamp is in the green to her right. Greg Slone, Public Defender, is to her left.
The first report was from Cody Boone, the Board of Governors representative. He said he attended a state summit over the summer to look into budget issues with colleges. The first BOG meeting at Concord University will be at the end of September.
My first thought from the meeting - I remember there being some issues as to whether or not Greg Stamp was able to serve as VP, due to some potential election rules being broken. I guess he can serve, since nobody mentioned it. The Secretary position is vacant, so Greg was also taking the minutes. Before the meeting, Sam Dobson (last year's Secretary) was saying to some people that he was going to be the Secretary this year but he just hadn't been appointed yet.
In Greg's report, he noted that he was going to begin to consolidate some committees. He said that the Green Sustainability and SGA Affairs committees would be merged. As would the Dining and Housing committees. He gave a few more examples. More will be known next week. He is also bringing back the Ethics committee. He is also starting two temporary AD HOC committees, the first is "CDC," which stands for committee to define committees. It will better define what each committee needs to do. The VP's job is to plan the Homecoming week events, and he is starting a temporary "Homecoming Activities committee" to solicit student help. If you're interested in that, contact him.
Stamp also expressed a desire to move the SGA meetings to a more technologically-friendly location, giving the third floor of the Rahall Center and that room beside the Subway Stage. He told attendees to mull that over for a week and it would be discussed more in depth at the next meeting.
Genevieve Hatcher, the Business Manager, gave her report next. Last year's operating budget for the SGA was $95,000. This year, the budget has been reduced to $82,000. She gave a detailed sheet of expected business expenses for the 2013-2014 academic year. Hatcher noted that officer pay had been reduced by $10,000 while the amount for Homecoming and Spring Fling activities will stay the same. Hatcher also noted an error by last year's Business Manager has caused this year's SGA to pay out $7000 to make up for it.
President Chelsey Rowe closed out the meeting with her first report: "Next week is when business will start getting done," she said. The Concord University Student Affairs committee needs to be selected at the next meeting. It will be chaired by VP Greg Stamp and will need three other SGA members to serve on it. Prime Justice Michael Cork will announce the Homecoming Election committee at the next meeting. Rowe also said that a report from a library representative will be heard next week, concerning what they did with last year's "senior gift" allocation. Rowe closed out her report by saying she was accepting application for several positions - Senator, Justice, Attorney General, Ombudsman, Faculty Senate representative, Secretary, Parliamentarian - and hoped to have them filled by September 4. Senator applicants need a 2.0 GPA and other positions require a 2.5 GPA.
In New Business, Dr. Charles Brichford and Student Center Director Andrew Sulgit were voted on to be the SGA faculty and staff adviser, respectively.
That's it from the meeting. Off to a decent start for the first week. Look for more substantial things to start occurring in the coming weeks.
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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.
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