First SGA Meeting of 2014 Brings Important Issues to Light

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                                The Student Government Association discussed many pertinent issues at its first meeting of 2014, on Monday, Jan. 27, including the ring ceremony, as well as hearing suggestions from faculty advisors about campus safety and new athletic facilities.

SGA President Zach McCoy opened the meeting by addressing that three positions are currently open, including the position of public relations coordinator, and then turned the floor over to his officers for reports about the upcoming semester. Chief Activities Officer Evelyn Aleman welcomed everyone back from break and announced the ring ceremony for juniors and seniors on March 22 at the Muse Banquet Hall. The event will involve the distributing of school rings, a dinner, and a dance. Katrina Koussis, Chief Financial Officer, informed the SGA that their budget would be roughly $14,500 for the semester, of which approximately $3,500 is allotted for the ring ceremony.

Advisors to the SGA include Dr. Irvin Clark, the university’s Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and Dr. Mark Shandley, Vice President of Student Affairs. After Irvin’s remarks, Shandley laid out some very specific encouragement to the SGA about safety concerns around campus, which had been brought to his attention during the Campus Safety Walk in November. “I think several of the lingering issues remaining from the safety walk are out there for you all to take action,” advised Shandley.

“Having more designated areas to encourage drivers to slow down [around crosswalks] and for students to be responsible would be very helpful,” Shandley said. A motor vehicle accident shortly before last semester’s final exams resulted in significant injuries to an RU student in the crosswalk near Jefferson Street and Downy Street. Better lighting, traffic lights, and speed bumps are all possible solutions to the dangers of crossing the highly trafficked streets near campus, which the SGA could vote on in the future.

An exciting athletic issue was also brought to the attention of the SGA. “The state is providing funding for a fairly massive expansion of our intramural field facilities,” informed Shandley. “The area occupied currently by the Burlington Warehouse will be torn down, and that will be the equivalent of five artificial turf fields with dramatic lighting.” The planned outdoor facility will work in conjunction with the new wellness facility currently being constructed next to the Bonnie.  “It will literally light up the community at night with the field lighting,” concluded Shandley.

Following the advisors’ announcements, Senior Class Senator Adam Kidd spoke to the gathering about his hopes to establish an independent judicial board of the SGA, for the purpose of more fair hearings in the case of an impeachment of an officer. “I’m basing it, a lot actually, on Virginia Tech’s judicial board; they have a very solid judicial board template,” remarked Kidd. This is an issue that senators will work toward throughout the spring semester.

One of the final issues of the evening was a discussion about senior cap and gown colors, led by CAO Aleman. A vote was held between red or black caps and gowns, and the outcome was 21-2 in favor of black ecofriendly material. The group is still undecided about cap tassel colors for graduation, and would welcome student input at upcoming Monday night meetings.

The SGA encourages students to participate in their programs and meetings, and offers many facets to get involved. Weekly meetings occur on Mondays at 5 p.m. in room 249 of the Bonnie, and are open to all students who wish to sit-in and listen. More information can be obtained via their website www.Radford.Edu/Content/SGA, and any student-related concerns can be brought to their attention either at the meetings or by email, at SGA@Radford.Edu.

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Alex Pistole

Editor-In-Chief Radford University The Tartan