As you all well know it has been a busy semester thus far, and SGA is up and running full gear. Just as President Roelofs is settling into his new role as College President, we are thrilled to be in this position to serve and represent students throughout the coming year. Below is a summary of our work in the month of September and our upcoming events and goals.
Fall 2012 SGA Elections
– For the first time, House Council elections were coordinated across campus and held on the same day for each residence hall. We worked closely with Berea’s dedicated Hall Coordinators and Collegium members to see through a much more efficient, publicized, and thorough House Council debates, campaigns, and elections.
– Very entertaining and informative Senate debates were moderated by SGA Public Relations Secretary, Ethan Hamblin, on Tuesday, August 30, in Baird Lounge.
– 2012-13 SGA Officers can be found on the SGA website (www.berea.edu/SGA).
– Charla Hamilton was nominated Chair of the Board of Residents, and Priscilla Easterling was nominated Speaker of the Senate.
– David’s pay cut of $650 will fully cover all expenses related to the SGA Retreat. David’s salary as SGA President this year will total $2716, which means he will receive a salary equivalent to a Level 3-4 pay position (as opposed to the typical “Unclassified” amount allotted to the SGA President).
– The SGA Retreat was held on campus in its entirety. We spent approximately $500 on this year’s retreat, a level never before reached in recent memory, as compared to the $2000 of SGA’s budget spent on last year’s retreat.
– Rather than purchase a Friday night dinner for the 40+ members in SGA on the students’ dime, we asked each SGA member to bring a dish to have a dinner potluck. This prevented stress on SGA’s budget and allowed SGA members to directly engage in the mentality of service.
– In an effort to bridge the gap between administration and faculty, we invited numerous faculty, staff, and administration leaders to join us for a two-hour lunch discussion. Vice President Gail Wolford, Public Safety Director Lavoyed Hudgins, and Dr. Michelle Tooley were just a few of the individuals who shared their feedback and suggestions for SGA.
– Members of the SGA Executive Council, Senate, and Board of Residents completed and signed a mission statement for their respective body’s goals for this academic year. All students are invited to come into the SGA Office to observe these mission statements and provide feedback to the specific goals and methods agreed upon by SGA’s bodies.
Working with President Roelofs
– There is little doubt that students are as eager to hear from President Roelofs as the President is eager to hear from students. We have worked with the President to set up two scheduled forums for students this semester: a forum centering on student organizations and how the College can better support organizations, and a forum focusing on educating and informing students about the important role of faculty committees. We want to be sure that students have opportunities to meet and interact with the President in a productive manner, cultivating the institutional enthusiasm surrounding our new President to build community, transparency, and address students’ needs.
– If you have suggestions for an event SGA can hold with the President, please let us know!
– Talk-Back Tuesdays: Have a question about SGA? Want to meet your representatives? Come talk with us directly on Tuesdays, every week, from 7:00-9:00pm in the SGA Office. Bring up your concerns directly with SGA officers, give us your suggestions and criticisms, and let us know what you want from us as your representatives.
– SGA announced bi-monthly shuttles to Happy Meadow Natural Foods, Berea’s own local health food store offering allergy-friendly, locally-grown, and health-oriented foods. Shuttle times and details can be found on the SGA website.
– Berea City Council Elections: SGA is helping students register to vote, hosting a Berea City Council Candidates Debate in Baird Lounge on October 30, and offering shuttles all day on Election Day (Tuesday, November 6, 6:00am-6:00pm). Click here for more local election information.
– Janice attended the Latinos in Appalachia conference, hosted by the Appalachian College Association, in Johnson City, Tennessee, with Curtis Sandberg, Michelle Tooley, Chris Lakes and Carl Thomas. This conference focused on intentionally recruiting and retaining more Latino students, including undocumented students, in higher education institutions.
– “DREAMers,” individuals walking across the country to raise awareness for cause of undocumented students, made the SGA Office their first stop upon arriving at Berea College. We were grateful to have the opportunity to meet these committed individuals and hear their stories, insights, and suggestions for the discussion of undocumented students in Berea.
– Reforming the Elections Committee: Any student who has been at Berea College knows that the annual process of selecting the SGA Elections Committee can be perfected. David is heading up the efforts of a newly formed Constitutional Review Committee (including Charla Hamilton, Priscilla Easterling, Jacob Burdette, Dalton Brennan, Sabrina Barnes, and Saad Al-Obaidi), which is currently looking at delegating the bulk of SGA election responsibilities to the Student Judiciary (SGA’s Judicial Branch). The Elections Committee should not be a politicized entity, but rather a neutral and fair body with clear goals and concise procedures.
– Athletics-SGA Forum: Tuesday, October 2, 7:30-9:00pm; Commons. A forum focusing on the unique issues facing student-athletes and the Athletics Department surrounding faculty attendance policy, SGA’s athletics initiatives, and the possibility of the College entering into NCAA Division 3. This forum will be a precursor for a Faculty Attendance Policy and Student Life Forum to be held in October or early November.
– Student Organization Forum with President Roelofs: Wednesday, October 3, 4:00-6:00pm; Commons. A forum open to all students, and particularly student organization representatives, to address the underlying question: What can SGA and the College do to better support student organizations?
– Berea College Goods Exchange Fair: Saturday, October 13, 1:00-6:00pm; Quad. This will be an opportunity for students to get rid of the extra clutter in their room, participate in a student organization fair, listen to student musicians, and partake in an overall student-oriented fair on the Quad.
– SGA collaborating with HEAL for “Food Week” – October 22nd-26th. We will be partnering with Kelly Kusomoto and HEAL during Food Week in October.
We look forward to a productive, engaging, and a transformative year for the student body of Berea College. If you ever have any questions, comments, criticisms, concerns, or suggestions, please let us know.
David Kretzmann, SGA President
Janice D’souza, SGA Vice President