The Student Government Association has purchased 14 iPads in an effort to go green for next school year.
The money to purchase the iPads came from what was left SGA’s budget for the 2012-2013 year. Levi Bachmeier, SGA president as of April 1, said that the new executive team was trying to search for good ways to use the leftover money.
“We were trying to decide how can we most responsibly invest that into our organization to promote long-term growth,” Bachmeier said.
Bachmeier hopes that by purchasing the iPads, SGA will be able to cut down on the amount of paper they use in addition to increasing their communication and improving their record keeping.
Matt Dymoke, SGA vice president, says that they use about 4,500 to 5,000 sheets of paper each year and that they want to practice what they preach regarding sustainability.
“No one likes it when someone’s telling them to do something (to improve sustainability)… and then we’re sitting here killing trees every weekend,” Dymoke said.
Dymoke also said that they have created a new position, the Sustainability Commissioner, to help promote and coordinate sustainability efforts across campus. The individual in this new position will work with student organizations such as the Student Environmental Alliance to further sustainability efforts.
The iPads, Bachmeier said, will not be given to members of SGA to keep. Instead, they will be kept as one unit and brought to committee and forum meetings for members of those meetings to use. That way, students at these meetings will be able to use an iPad to access documents and to take notes during the meetings. The iPads will then be returned to SGA for safekeeping. SGA also purchased cases and keyboards for the iPads to further ensure their safety.
Concordia’s IT department helped SGA with the purchases, which were tax free.
Both the iPad purchase and the creation of this new position are a part of a large series of changes that the SGA executive team plans on putting into place next year. Tony Sang, academic affairs commissioner, said there is a purpose behind these actions.
“The vision is to make it (SGA’s actions) really mean something and add some credibility to it,” Sang said.
He also said that students often complain that they don’t know about what SGA is doing and that this frustrates them. Therefore, “bridging the gap” was the campaign slogan for Bachmeier, Dymoke, Austin Keller and Emma Connell and continues to be a goal for next year.
SGA hopes to improve communication by creating four new committees. The new committees will be based upon four of the commissioner positions: Sustainability, Student Services, Program and Events and Academic Affairs. These committees will be open to the public so that anyone can stop by and participate.
In addition to this, SGA plans on creating member-at-large positions for students who consistently attend the meetings. At the time of press, SGA was still defining what these positions might entail.
Dymoke said that these meetings would help to remove some of the strain from individual members of SGA, who often have to work on a project by themselves. By creating committees, commissioners will have a team to help them work on major proects rather than having to work solo.
“To put that all on one person doesn’t make sense to me and with a committee you’re able to bring in so many different perspectives,” Dymoke said.
It would also allow for a forum to discuss issues and propose solutions that don’t get addressed within the main body of SGA.
“As an organization, we sit on a lot of various committees, but there hasn’t been an intentional place in the past for that information to be discussed or shared,” Bachmeier said.
Sang, who will chair one of the committees as academic affairs commissioner, said that he is looking forward to hosting meetings.
“I want the people there to look forward to it… You want it to mean something to all the members,” Sang said.
Another change will involve how forum meetings are run. SGA will implement a more formal method for running meetings with the hope that it will allow more voices to be heard, especially on controversial issues. Also, in order to increase the formality of forum meetings, SGA has suggested that those in attendance dress in a business casual attire. However, this is not required.