Senators discuss extra SAFA funds, cafeteria health concerns, ‘Big Event’ plans

UCA’s Student Government Association voted against allocating an extra $250 to an occupational therapy Recognized Student Organization seeking extra Student Activity Fee Allocation funds, 32-4, at its Nov. 18 meeting.

The group, the Student Caucus for Diversity in Occupational Therapy, appealed the allocated amount it received from SAFA funds, stating that it asked for $1,000 and were given $750, but still needed the additional $250.

It emphasized that UCA has the only program in the state that offers a master’s degree in occupational therapy and that only 48 students were in the program. The Student Caucus for Diversity in Occupational Therapy said the purpose of its organization is to reach out to different cultures and find out the best way to serve them as healthcare professionals. They said that they need the extra $250 to participate in a national conference for occupational therapy.

The conference allows students to meet and network with others representing future occupational therapists.

The group wants to allow as many students to participate in the conference as possible, but the cost is $1,200 per student to attend.

Because it lacks the $250, the RSO’s representatives said its up to the students to come up with the rest and that their goal is to provide $300 for each student and said it had an “ultimate goal” of being a more self-sustaining organization in the future.

Senators debated on whether to allocate the $250 to the organization. Senior representative Blake Brizzolara, supported allocating the funds.

“It is not a common occurrence for groups to appeal for extra funding. Clearly this group needs the money and is going about this in the right way,” he said.

Senior Dylan Doughty, vice president of finance, senior Ashley Ross, executive vice president, and Allison Rubio, senior class president, opposed the motion, saying they supported the SAFA committee’s original decision to have a blanketed percentage of allocating 75 percent of the limit of funds asked, which was $1,000. The senators argued SAFA only has a certain amount of money to allocate and they had already over-allocated funds. If they did choose to provide the extra $250, it would come from reserve funding, which is at just over $86,000. SGA’s “Big” event in April will already require $25,000 from the reserve funding.

The senate voted 32-4 against the motion to allocate $250 to SCDOT.

SGA President Adam Price, senior, said Lewis Science Center renovations and the future of Donaghey Avenue and the city’s ambitions in the next 10 to 15 years will be discussed at the Dec. 13 board of trustees meeting.

“I’m really excited about the idea of Donaghey becoming more lively,” Price said.

Price also announced the official swearing-in of President Tom Courtway on Thursday in Reynolds Performance Hall.

“It will be very memorable; this doesn’t happen often,” Price said. “We will be presenting Courtway with a banner students will sign this week as a token of appreciation.”

Price discussed UCA’s skateboarding policy and said the policy has never allowed “coasting devices” and skateboards, longboards, scooters and roller blades, but that SGA decided to speak with Courtway on the matter after a student was ticketed for riding his skateboard on a sidewalk.

He said that the policy will be amended to allow all “coasting devices” to be used on campus as long as students observe right-of-way and safety precautions.

Junior class president Colby Qualls was named senator-of-the-week for outstanding leadership.

The Student Services Committee will be meeting with Diane Newton, vice president of finance and administration, to discuss adding campus buildings signs to the back of buildings so that visitors can see where they are easily. The committee also announced it they spoke with David Dennis, HPER Center director, and that starting this spring, Saturday, HPER hours will be extended from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It said that this will be helpful to students who would prefer to sleep in on Saturday mornings and still get to work out at the HPER later in the day.

The Housing and Food Services Committee met with Jim Nabors, senior food services director, about concerns including the corn in Christian Cafeteria having extra components such as tomatoes in it and that the eggs used for omelets are pasteurized. Nabors told the committee he was interested in meeting with them and the students who have created a petition against UCA’s food options. The committee also expressed desire to have extra vending machines in Torreyson Library which would include hot meals and a microwave for students who may be staying overnight in the library working on schoolwork. This way, students would have 24-hour access to food. Nabors said he would look into this idea.

The “Big Event” Committee is working on meeting with various organizations around Conway such as City of Hope and Habitat for Humanity to discuss plans for April’s “Big Event.” Graduate student Steven Shook, vice president of operations, set up Big Event’s page on SGA’s website for interested students. RSOs and individual students can register to participate on this website. The committee plans to begin advertising for the event by the end of the semester.

Senator-at-Large Jacob Wickliffe, sophomore, announced that applications for Bear’s Den are due on Wednesday and that it provides a great opportunity for leadership and having some fun. He also announced that this weekend is the last tailgate of the semester.

Faculty and Staff Feature: Quinton Lane

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