New SGA initiatives: Waterville shuttle, Social Activists Lectures

The Student Government Association (SGA) held its first formal meeting of the semester on Feb. 15. The meeting, which began with reports from the Executive Board, introduced new members and welcomed returning ones from abroad.
Justin Deckert ’15 and Michael Loginoff ’16, SGA Co-Presidents, discussed initiatives they had been working on over JanPlan. Loginoff said that they were continuing to work on starting a shuttle to downtown Waterville that, as opposed to the Jitney, would run on a fixed schedule. The Co-Presidents also met the with new Director of Athletics, Tim Wheaton, and discussed reinvigorating iPlay and extending the Athletic Center hours on weekdays.
Osman Bah ’16, SGA Treasurer, presented a rough draft of fund allocation for the semester. He said that approximately 40 percent of the total SGA budget was spent over Fall 2014 and JanPlan 2015, adding that this was the norm, since the spring semester has always required extra event funding. “After accounting for newspaper subscriptions like the NYTimes, the Echo, the Outing Club, and the radio, we have about $76,000 left for the semester,” Bah said.
Publicity Chair Connor Clancy ’15, discussed new initiatives. He met with Colby Security to discuss parking issues that students experience and have reported, “Security is absolutely open to adding new parking spots, but for that, more people should register their cars on campus.” He also mentioned the Benching for Waterville effort, an initiative that would fund a Waterville student’s education.
Shane Rogers ’15, Multicultural Affairs Chair, talked about a new program which will bring more social activists to campus. The SGA Social Activist Lectures are aimed to increase awareness and sensitivity on various issues. He said they would try to have four speakers per semester.
In addition to the new initiatives discussed, SGA approved six clubs during the meeting. These include The Wounded Warriors Club, The Gift of Life Club, the Current Affairs Discussion Club, the Hawaii Club, React to Film (RtF) and Colby Cafe. The clubs’ focuses range from charitable work with wounded service members and the national bone marrow registry, to increasing awareness about social justice issues through watching issue-based documentaries.
The meeting then moved on to Committee reports. The Academic Affairs Committee has been exploring the prospect of instituting a “Community Hour” with no classes, aimed to maximize student attendance at events and allow for easier organization for various extracurricular activities. Bias Incident Prevention and Response (BIPR) has been working to increase awareness about their efforts, so students are aware that they have a channel to address any bias they experience on campus.
While BIPR only received one formal complaint last semester, it is suspected that several incidents went unreported, which is inspiring the group to increase their presence. Students will be pleased to hear that The Traditions Committee is working to organize the Winter Carnival, and the Dining Services Committee hopes to open a coffee station in Miller Library.
Advancements in all of these new and exciting ventures, along with currently unannounced projects will be discussed in the next SGA meeting on March 1st.

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