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SGA Senate to change structure, create campus involvement

UCA’s Student Government Association is planning to make structural changes to its senate and plans to get students involved on campus through projects.

President Adam Price, senior, said SGA will vote to undergo senate structural changes next year.

“It’s redundant to have a person, you already have your junior class representatives, why do you need someone else representing them,” Price said. “So, we’re thinking about taking out the five senator-at-large senators and putting in a senator from each [academic]college.”

He said this change could help get more representation for the academic colleges as well as better connections with the colleges.

Senior Michael Murphy, who served on SGA for four years and was a senator-at-large during the 2011-12 academic year, said the transition would work in students’ favor.

“There’s always been a question of who [senators-at-large] represent,” Murphy said.

Having a body of five representatives who represent the same students that the other class representatives do was redundant, he said. However, having senators represent the five academic colleges has been talked about for years.

Murphy said having a representative from each of the colleges would make it easier for students and faculty to know who to go to when they have a concern or issue within their college.

“It gives SGA a better chance at fully representing the university,” he said.

Having representatives from each of the colleges will allow SGA to hear perspectives and ideas that may not have been heard in the past, he said. By adding a senator from each college, SGA avoids having a senate body that is made up of senators who are all from one or two of the same colleges.

Price said SGA is bringing back Think Big!, an SGA project from the 2010-11 academic year that awarded groups up to $50,000. SGA voted in February 2011 to allocate no more than $4,000 toward the Bear Trail Disk Golf trail, $11, 635 for restorations to Ida Waldran and no more that $50,000 to be allocated toward the amphitheater.

“President [Tom Courtway] awarded us $25,000 through Coca Cola pouring rights funds and we’re going to match it to make $50,000,” he said. “We’re going to send out applications across campus and students can submit their ideas. We’re going to rebrand it. It won’t be the same like Think Big!, it will be something a little different.”

Applications will be out by the end of the fall semester and presentations will be held in the spring, he said.

Funding for selected projects will be handed out by February to get projects underway.

He said the Coca Cola pouring rights funds SGA received from Courtway was one-time funding.

“It’s really exciting to give students a chance to have their input and have something really big that they can have a direct hand in,” Price said.

He said SGA has the option to fund however many projects it can.

SGA plans to make a green week model for UCA through a program Price said they have observed at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Big Event is a service week that incorporates green week.

What makes this event stand out from other green week activities is that the Big Event focusses on volunteering and community service projects instead of just recycling and being green, he said.

Price said students could be more involved in a similar project by “incorporating a volunteering type of aspect where we can kind of corral the student body and community and take on different projects around UCA and maybe even Conway.”

The main focus of this project wouldn’t be green week, he said, but more on the volunteering aspect. Eventually, he said the project could be handed off to Recognized Student Organizations.

“Green Week by itself is great, but there’s room to improve,” he said. “There’s more things we could be doing.”

People of UCA: Summer Sanders

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