SGA Sound-Off: JusTalks, MiddView and Printers

In a very eventful second meeting of the New Year, the SGA discussed and voted on several pieces of legislation. Still surprised we have an SGA? Wondering what it does? Check out a former SGA Sound-Off post from earlier this year for the sparknotes rendition of SGA and read below for the very latest!

JusTalks: If you haven’t already heard about JusTalks, be on the lookout (and check out their website)! A group of 20 students from the Social Justice Coalition are working to bring about mandatory workshops during all students’ first Jterms — the idea being that these workshops will be safe, inviting spaces for people to engage in conversations relating to all kinds of societal and personal issues that are all too often neglected in wider campus discussions such as race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, gender, and privilege.

As they say in their call to action, and as Rhiya noted in her discussion to the senate Sunday evening, the idea is that JusTalks “will be a forum dedicated to free communication, thoughtful discourse, supportive self-analysis, leaning into discomfort, and dynamic community building.” They are reaching out to the entire campus community for feedback and ideas, so be sure to lend your voice, if not in person, then on the web. The SGA passed the proposed resolution in support of the spirit of JusTalks, to be renewed as further details of the program are delinted in the spring.

OINK/MIDDVIEW: After a heated discussion of sources of funding, the SGA voted and approved of the MiddView bill as sponsored by Joanie Thompson ’14 and Nathan LaBarba ’14 with eight votes for the bill, two votes against, and two abstaining. The bill allocates $98,000 of SGA funding for the Fall 2013 MiddView Trips (approx. half of the total anticipated cost). The MiddView Trips (focused on Outdoor activities or otherwise) all students will attend and will be embedded in the Orientation week. This differs substantially from the current OINK model of only being able to accept a certain number of applicants and having the trips occur during the first weekend of the semester. This also differs substantially from the previous MiddView model where it was co-payed by the Administration and participation fees, and the trips were opt-in by choice and before orientation.

Additionally, the bill permits for the SGA to pay up to 50% of the costs for the years 2014 and 2015, (so, potentially up to $98,000 again, though we were assured it would be less after a significant amount of one-time start up costs occurred for 2013), with the hopes that by passing the aforementioned measures of supportive funding, it is “expected” that by 2016, the funding will come from somewhere other than the SGA. Stay tuned for a post to follow regarding the debates on this vote.

PRINTERS: To close the meeting, the SGA passed a nearly unanimous vote of support for a printer station to be installed in McCullough Student Center. Be on the lookout for that soon!