The Student Government Association was treated to an unusual sight on Oct. 23 when nearly 100 students attended the General Council meeting in the Dodge Ballroom. The students were there to voice their concerns regarding new policies set in place for the Townhouses. The new policies, which are still in the process of being finalized, include wristbands for any guests under the age of 21, underage students no longer being allowed in the backyard of the Townhouses, and a check-in policy.
Despite the large number of students and the apparent agitation of those in attendance, the open forum remained calm as the new policies were discussed with Dean of Students David Braverman and Bo Zaryckyj, the Coordinator of Alcohol & Other Drug Education and Community Standards.
“I thought that was the most professional discussion we’ve ever had in student government,” said SGA President Kristina Dupuis. “I was really pleased with the turnout. I thought that having Dr. Braverman here and Bo Zaryckyj was very helpful.”
Although overshadowed by the open forum discussion, there were two issues that also came up during the General Council meeting that will have an effect on the student body.
The first was a new policy that was approved that will allocate funds to brand new clubs. “We’ve had a lot of clubs come to us and say they’re drowning,” said President Dupuis. “They’re swimming upstream without a paddle, and I totally agree. I don’t know why there wasn’t a policy in place beforehand, but this is really meant to get them on their feet.”
This new policy will allocate funds to clubs as soon as they are approved. Clubs that were recognized in the spring of 2011 will receive $400 while clubs recognized this fall will receive $200. These groups will also have an opportunity to receive a further $200 in the spring if they complete their stated goals. In the past, clubs have received no funding for their first year and were forced to pay for anything they needed out of their own pocket.
“We had clubs approach us and say that they were having a very difficult time getting the ball rolling because of money issues,” said Vice President of Business Affairs Michael Rama, “and we feel as if we are trying to help clubs out to the best of our ability.”
These funds will help clubs get started and raise awareness for their organizations. These funds would come from the SGA, and student organizations will still need to go through an allocation process to get permanent funding.
The second issue to be addressed was the new judicial boards. Zaryckyj discussed these boards and encouraged students to apply. The judicial boards consist of three students who hear low to mid-level offenders after being written up and recommend sanctions. These recommendations are then reviewed by Zaryckyj, who finalizes the decision.
Students from all majors are encouraged to apply. There were information sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening, and applications are due on Friday at 4 p.m. in the Office of Student Affairs. Applicants need to have been a student at Springfield College for at least one semester. If accepted for the judicial boards, students would begin in the spring semester and would review one to two cases a week.
“This is a chance for students to let the professional staff know what students think,” said Zaryckyj.
These judicial boards are a way for students to become involved with the judicial process on campus and work with the administration on a matter that affects the everyday lives of the student body.
Josh Ernst may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org