SGA welcomes 7 new senators, allocates funds at first meeting

SGA's first meeting Jan. 27 saw the swearing-in of seven new members and the allocation of funds. The student organization is gearing up for its centennial celebration.

SGA held its first meeting of the semester Jan. 27. Senators heard presentations, allocated event funding, and welcomed seven new senators who were sworn in to fill positions left vacant after the fall semester.

Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement, Leadership, and Service Wendy Holbrook spoke to SGA about a new co-curricular transcript service called the Bear Experience that is set to launch in the fall. She explained that participating in organizations such as SGA requires time and effort, but that is never reflected in a student’s academic transcript. The Bear Experience seeks to recognize those hours students spend in organizations, volunteer work, and approved campus events. She invited senators to help by participating in the pilot. 

Stephanie McBrayer, the director of Housing and Residence Life, discussed the success that has been seen with the usage of the online movie and television streaming service for students on campus, Residence Life Cinema, which features over 600 titles for students to enjoy. McBrayer also mentioned that they were working with Swank to allow students who live in places such as Bear Village, which is considered on-campus but does not feature access to Residence Life Cinema, to use the service by incorporating a single sign-on. 

Sophomore Senator Garrett Spears, chair of the Internal Affairs Committee, provided a timeline for the return of Senate Bill 008 which was first introduced in fall 2019 and was sent back to committee for revision after much discussion. The document, which seeks to correct flaws in the SGA constitution, has been revised and senators will vote on it Feb. 17. 

With the start of the spring semester, UCA's Student Government Association has many new projects coming UCA's way. News6 reporter Alexxis Rainey caught up with some executive members to find out more on their future plans.

Senator Jackson Rouse, the new chair of the Parking and Safety Committee for this semester, announced upcoming events for which his committee is preparing. Food for Fines, a program that allows students to make donations in exchange for ticket forgiveness, is set to return this semester. The previous one, held in fall 2019, was popular among students and successful in collecting donations.

Freshman Senator Montana Cramer said  that she is working with the Parking and Safety Committee to correct some confusing parking areas on campus. These include the purple “Visitor Retail Parking” signs at Donaghey Hall which are not for use by students. The unloading area near Snow Fine Arts is also an area that may need further clarification due to the limited parking spaces available to students who need to carry in instruments and equipment. 

Senator Javier Hernandez, chair of the Sustainability Committee, used his committee report to encourage other senators to download the Recycle Coach app, which can tell users what can and cannot be recycled in the city of Conway. He also mentioned that, through his committee’s new partnership with the Echo Newspaper, a sustainability tip will appear each week in the Campus Life section.

SGA is busy preparing for its Centennial Celebration with current and former SGA senators which will take place Feb. 21.

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