The SGA appropriations committee approved three departmental grants on Oct. 30 that will be passed on to the senate meeting for final approval. All applications that were brought to the committee on this date were passed through to the senate. The english, fine and performing arts and the SIMS and Baton Rouge nursing libraries may be receiving financial assistance from SGA during the upcoming spring semester.
Budget cuts contributed to the departments’ requested amount. The English department requested assistance with the early start program at Southeastern, and for common read, where authors present their work to students. The libraries have requested funds for dozens of items, including supplies such as new staplers, umbrella bags, scissors, batteries and an umbrella stand. The department of fine and performing arts has requested funds for guest performances and master classes for music students. Each department received approval by the appropriations committee for nearly $2,000.
“What I’m looking for is, is there any benefit to the students,” said appropriations committee chair Ian Doran, talking about why SGA might reject a grant application. “Are students putting it on? How is the department benefiting? We want to make sure that the students who are paying this money are receiving something from this.”
Committee member Jasmine Ballard also said that she noticed that students who were involved in the early start program had a higher chance of enrolling in Southeastern upon graduating from high school because they were more familiar with the campus and departments. Committee member Suraj Ayer said that he had attended a common read in the past, and that the event had given him the chance to gain understanding of a book that he was required to read for a class. Doran also said that he had experiences with master classes like those held in the department of fine and performing arts, and that the learning opportunity from those classes was “great exposure” from his experiences as a musician. Other concerns were about advertising for the events or items that SGA assisted in funding.
“[Advertising for SGA is] to let the students know that we’re here,” said Ballard. “We’re here for them. We help to sponsor things that help them. And [advertising is] to help them become more involved maybe in just knowing that we’re here and the things that we do.”
SGA will also be attempting to plan for next year by conducting a mass survey. They hope to gather information from at least half of the student body by the end of the semester through each SGA member approaching twenty students per week with the survey on paper. Topics of the survey include subjects such as how students feel about having a tobacco-free campus. SGA members said that they will be asking for detailed answers from students that consist of more than just a yes or no.
“The questions are hard-hitting,” said SGA president Branden Summers. “We’re trying to find problems on campus and work with them. This helps us out in a lot of ways.”
Students interested in attending SGA senate meetings for information on decisions made for the school can go to Fayard Hall room 107 every Monday at 4:30 p.m.