MOORHEAD – The Student Government Associaiton (SGA) held their bi-weekly senate meeting on Thursday, Nov 16.
Some topics discussed during the meeting were a proposal and successful vote to implement a crisis response committee, the recently created Cobbertunity Fund and brainstorming for Wellness Week.
The meeting began with updates from over 25 different representatives that make up SGA. During these updates issues not on the immediate docket were brought up but not discussed at length.
Some of the issues disscussed included:
- The skyway connecting Olson Forum to the Offut School of Business. Currently, this passage closes at 10 p.m. and there have been concerns regarding student safety after it closes. A survey was sent out to students looking to gain insights on how students feel about the issue.
- A link to a relief fund in support of Palestinians affected by the ongoing genocide possibly being added onto Cobber Connect, giving students the ability to more easily view and donate to the cause.
- Happy Lights being added to the Carl B. Ylvisaker library to help combat less light during waking hours impacting students’ mood and performance.
- Street lights along 4th St. bordering campus have been replaced with LED lights, making them much brighter.
- The diversity, equity and inclusion committee has distributed sexual health items throughout bathrooms on campus.
One of the main items talked about was the upcoming Wellness Weekend, which will take place in the first week of February. SGA brainstormed ideas on how best to promote wellness with various events.
A popular sentiment was to promote wellness by not having any events that students are forced to plan, organize and attend.
Some proposals were “grab and go” activities like giveaways of coupons, food and hot chocolate. The idea of having emotional support animals on campus was also raised.
Dealt with next was the Crisis Response Committee Proposal. The document was proposed by the SGA executive team.
The senate voted after a brief discussion. The vote required a two thirds majority to pass but passed unanimously.
The committee will have five main responsibilities. These are outlined in the proposal as monitoring and assessment, consultation, formulating of responses, reporting and communication and collaboration.
“There might be issues that come up that impact lives of students on campus, and to meet those needs that students might have there will be some sort of an SGA response and that will go through this committee first,” vice president, Anna Kronbeck said.
While the creation of this committee comes after the multiple unsuccessful attempts to publish a statement on the genocide in Palestine, the goal is to have a flexible committee to deal with a wide array of crises, not just global events.
“This proposal isn’t just for global events either. Taking into consideration the diversity of events that could happen, we wanted to keep it vague so that the committee can really decide what (a response) looks like,” Kronbeck said.
One initial critique of the proposal was the question of how the committee will qualify something as a crisis.
What is deemed as a crisis by one will not be deemed a crisis by another, first year representative, Sumaya Aabukar said.
Kronbeck addressed concerns by reminding senate members that the proposal was kept vague so the committee can have the freedom to deal with events as they happen.
“I know this is not a satisfying answer, but it really is a case by case basis,” Kronbeck said.
Discussion lasted about 20 minutes before voting commenced and the resolution passed.
This proposal will impact this academic year’s senate only, and it must be voted upon again next year if there is a want for it to be reimplemented.
On the agenda second to last was an update on the Cobbertunity fund.
The Special Projects and Initiatives Fund (SPIF), transferred $75,000 for use in the newly created Cobbertunity Fund.
“So then how this would work is grants would be awarded to Cobber entrepreneurs up to $3,000,” chief of operations, Bokao Tshoganetso said.
The purpose of this fund is to help support Concordia entrepreneurs in their endeavors. Students will have to apply in order to receive any funds.
“The whole process is going to start in August of 2024,” Tshoganetso said.
The meeting was concluded by a group brainstorm on ways to better recognize SGA senate members for their work.