Student Government Association
Report to the Board of Trustees— Spring 2014
The Student Government Association started this spring semester by welcoming new members and garnering excitement for the events to come. This spring our Student Government is composed of twelve senators, six executive officers and our three advisors. Ken Nafziger, advisor; Jane Wenger Clemens, faculty representative, who replaced Vi Dutcher temporarily; and Amy Springer, staff representative, have joined us for the semester. Our Senate continues to display the diversity of EMU’s campus as our Senators represent a variety of places of birth, majors, involvement in athletics, and grade levels. The members of our Executive Office are as follows: Carissa Harnish, replacing Andrew Penner, and Christine Baer (Co-Presidents), Kyle Storc (Vice President), Rebecca Longenecker, replacing Kate Schwartz, (Secretary), Ryan Swartzentruber (Treasurer), and Charlie Good (VP for Marketing).
This semester, SGA is working with a slightly different focus than usual. Much of our attention has turned to the Student Science Center Campaign, in order to raise funds for renovations of an area designated by the students. To bring about a successful campaign, we have been working with the Development Office to contact potential donors and organize an auction to generate funds.
The goal of the overall campaign is to reach out to the EMU community and our parent and guardian supporters to generate more excitement about the renovations among the current student population. We see this initiative as a way to bring the community together and help everyone dream about what the science center will be. We have contacted parents, guardians, and grandparents through an appeal letter to request donations to this particular campaign.
The auction is scheduled for April 5th, and we have been busy organizing the details. We plan to auction off some items from the science center, other relevant historical campus items, and business and community donations. We have sent an email invitation to approximately 6,000 people throughout Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio to come and support the auction. We are excited for the energy that the auction will generate.
Senators and executive officers have come together to make this campaign possible, and we love the ability to work on a more specific project. We will look forward to resuming regular SGA activities next fall, but will ensure that we properly document this event to make something of this scale possible in the future.
Noteworthy agenda items from the semester have included:
- Freelance Whales concert: Campus Activities Council (CAC), with financial support from SGA, brought the Freelance Whales to EMU for a February concert. SGA helped with the set-up and tear-down of the event. Approximately 375 individuals came out to enjoy the music.
- At the end of January, SGA dispersed our Idea Drive boxes in order to collect ideas and suggestions from the student body pertaining to campus life. We have collected these suggestions and forwarded them along to the appropriate campus departments for consideration.
- During the spring semester of 2013, SGA approved a funding request to support the initiative to bring Rachel Held Evans to campus. This request has come to fruition this semester as Evans addressed campus on Wednesday, March 19th.
- Funding Request: Common Grounds forged a partnership with the Hartzler Library in order to serve coffee to Library patrons. Senate approved a request to fund a new catering kiosk as well as new coffee brewing equipment.
- Funding Request: SGA partnered with Campus Ministries, Multicultural Services, and the history department in order to bring Vincent Harding to campus. Vincent Harding provided thought-provoking conversation on campus during the week before spring break.
- Funding Request: Senate voted to financially support the Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship Conference that was hosted by the EMU Peace Fellowship club. This conference brought students and staff from Bluffton College, Goshen College, Conrad Grebel University College, Elizabethtown College and the surrounding community to campus in order to explore topics of peace and justice.
- Funding Request: SGA granted a funding request from Common Grounds to bring Trent Wagler to campus for an interactive solo performance in Common Grounds. This event had excellent student and alumni attendance.
- Funding Request: At the end of February, senate approved a funding request to supplement the CAC budget in order to ensure that it is possible for traditional spring events (spring fest, campus movies) to take place.
- Funding Request: Senate approved a funding request to send ten Safe Space members to the Queer Summit conference at the University of Richmond. EMU Safe Space led a workshop titled, “Queerness and Christianity.”
In addition to the Student Science Center Campaign, SGA executive officers have been working to ensure some other initiatives occur this spring.
- The VP for Marketing, Charlie Good, has gained access to our website and made significant improvements over the last year.
- SGA, in conjunction with the Undergraduate Task Force for the Listening Process, is also serving to bridge some of the gaps of the listening process by organizing opportunities for students to share in non-official settings. Through this initiative, we hope to allow students to learn to share their opinions and beliefs in a healthy environment.
- We are also organizing the SGA budget for the 2014-2015 school-year.
Christine Baer and Carissa Harnish