SGA minutes from March 28, 2012

Eastern Mennonite University


Student Government Association


Senate Agenda


28th of March 2012


A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.


-Dwight D. Eisenhower




  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call/Prayer
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. Announcements
  5. Committee Reporting


i.     Faculty Coffeehouse 8 pm Monday April 16th


  1. Bruce Emmerson, Luke Hartman, Chad and Cathy Smeltzer-Erb will be part of the panel.  Cyndi Gusler may join too. Brandon needs some help thinking of questions, making sure that note cards/pens are out and ready. Alli volunteered to be there to help.
  2. First Annual Faculty Appreciation Day/Week Planning


                                              i.     Tentative date/s: April 16th-20


                                            ii.     Don’t want it to be ‘suck up to teachers day’; Very dependent on faculty to make this institution – and pay is below regular


                                          iii.     Maybe mon-tues or later in the week too; Tuesday: tables for each department, giant poster cards to keep things general, not specific


                                            iv.     Ideas for themes:


  1. 1.    Sit-with-a-professor day in the caf
  2. 2.    Bringing flowers or something to a class – getting classes to participate as a group. Hard to coordinate which person from a class does that.
  3. 3.    Dress up like your faculty day
  4. 4.    Have a parade
  5. Strategic Planning Council- Erika
    1.                                               i.     The first portion covered how to compare EMU to peer groups with their faculty to student ratio/what EMU’s target will be moving forward. Clear decision was not made. Right now the ration is about 10 to 1. The other half went over the fundraising they do.
    2. Old Business


i.     Executive Elections


  1. 1.     Petitions were due yesterday at midnight. There are two people running for the president role (James and Nels as well as Erika, Becca and Hannah). Jacob is running for vice-president and Julia Schmidt, Zach Zook and Molly Kraybill were nominated for secretary, treasurer and VP of Marketing, respectively. Taylor said that it would be good if there were at least two people running for each exec position so that the student body cares more. Rebecca said that that isn’t really fair to the nominees because they may not win after we tapped them on the shoulder. The general consensus was that we just leave it as is and just have one person run in each position.


ii.     (EMSWA Constitution)


  1. New Business


i.     Preliminary Budget


  1. The budget allocations were passed around and senators shared comments and questions. Erika explained that with budget allocations there are several things we don’t fund in the yearly allocation (it must be a separate funding request): meals, operational equipment/one time costs, stipends, trip expenses. Rebecca explained that the Shen allocation will go up $300 because of the permanent faculty member next year. Carissa asked why we gave Earthkeepers more than they asked for—they just rounded up $40 (they requested $960 and we gave them $1000). Erika explained that as this is the preliminary budget we will look over it, make changes and pass it. Then the clubs will be notified of our decisions and will have a week and a half to petition if they do not like the allocation. After that it will be finalized. Elias and several other senators said they are pleased with the budget—they can tell a lot of careful thought went into it. Erika asked if people were OK with the amount allocated to Peace Fellowship (they asked for $1000 and are being given $300) and most senators said yes, they felt it was a valid amount. Senators discussed the ISO allocation—Hannah felt that they should come to SGA for a funding request for their big events instead of having it as part of their yearly budget. Jacob asked about CAC’s budget—he asked why there is such an increase in their allocation ($26,000 to $35,000). Ken explained that the senators a couple years ago voted to increase student fees so that bigger concerts could be funded at EMU (such as Joshua Radin). CAC kept the high allocation after the Joshua Radin concert and tried bringing in a number of smaller artists/acts to see if students were interested. Tyler asked if the smaller acts were comparable to the Joshua Radin concert. Hannah and Erika are not sure, but have info from CAC that has the attendance numbers that they can send out. Erika said that CAC could have done a better job this year at polling students to find out where interests lay since some acts were popular, but others were not. Brandon said that he talked to the head of CAC at one point and he said that movies bring in the most money, and he wondered if that earned money goes back to their budget. Erika said yes. Brandon moved to approve the preliminary budget for the 2012-2013 school year. Jacob seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.


ii.     Funding Request- Michael Bodner


  1. 1.     Some students at EMU have written a musical, which has never been done before. There are currently 37 students involved. A couple weeks ago they decided they wanted to charge admittance and give all of the proceeds to RISE, an organization in the area. Since it is a charity event, they are trying to do lots of advertising so that lots of people attend (they are shooting for 200). They money they are requesting from SGA would go towards advertising and a small portion of it would go towards costumes and such. They are not getting any funding from the theater dept or anywhere else—this is entirely student run. The show is opening on the 13th of April and there will be 3 shows.

2.     The senate discussed the funding request. Becca said that it seemed like a good project and the amount they were requesting was low compared to other funding requests so she supports it. Brandon said that a lot of work is going into this project/there is a lot of talent being showcased—he supports it too. Becca and Brandon both think they should give more than $100. Katie said she was concerned about giving money to something that would directly fund an outside organization. She is not sure if that is in line what what SGA normally does. Erika said that she views it as supporting a group of students and the activity they are doing. She said there is a difference between a direct giveaway and an amount that is allocated for students to advertise, etc. for an event. Hannah asked if Katie would feel better if we asked them to have a suggested donation of $2 for admission, rather than requiring a $2 charge. James said that most of the money that we would allocate would go to the directors so they do not have to pay out of pocket. Taylor asked if SGA’s name would be on the posters if we allocate this money. Sam, who is helping to write the show, said yes. Taylor asked if it is precedent to raise the amount we give to a funding request, and Ken said yes. Sam said that he thinks the cast would be open to having a suggested donation at the door, instead of a required amount. Several senators said they liked that many students are involved. Ken suggested asking for an expense report to hold them accountable for the money they are allocated. Jacob made a motion to allocate a budget of $200 with a stipulation that all expenditures be recorded. Andrew seconded the motion. We will also unofficially suggest that Sam talk to them about the possibility of suggested donation of $2. Motion passed. 

  1. Open Floor
    1. Sam said that “Idea Ernest Youth” still needs people to be involved so talk to Michael Bodner or Sam if you are interested.
    2. Rebecca explained the surplus at the bottom of the budget sheet. There are about $12,960, which is about an 11% margin (typically a 10% margin is normal).
    3. Go to the Walk for Hope this Saturday.
    4. Vi reminded us about the Writing Conference this weekend. Students are free to go to seminars that have room if they aren’t signed up ahead of time.
    5. Adjournment James moved to adjourn the meeting. Taylor seconded.