SGA meets for first fall meeting, discusses improvement plans

UCA’s 2013-14 Student Government Association met for the first time this semester at 5 p.m. Sept. 30.

Executive President Adam Price, senior, made several announcements at the beginning of the meeting. He said art professor Bryan Massey created a sculpture out of the World War II memorial tree student veterans; the same tree that was used to create UCA’s new bear sculpture monument. The dedication ceremony will be at Oct. 2 in Wingo Hall.

Price said that from Oct. 7 -11, UCA will host AVID Week to promote the university’s core values. AVID is UCA’s mission and stands for Academic Vitality, Integrity and Diversity. Events will include Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Hannah speaking on what integrity means to them in regard to law and a diversity speaker elaborating on race-related issues.

Price said two new benches were added outside the amphitheater and that a student was given a citation for skateboarding within 15 feet of a campus building last week. He said it was something SGA needed to look into because most people do not see skateboarding as an issue, especially since to other students can ride bicycles.

He said some members were interested in creating a committee to plan a commemoration for UCA President Tom Courtway. Ideas included having a lunch reception in his honor and placing a large sheet of paper in front of the Student Center for students and faculty to sign, thanking him for his efforts as president for the past few years.

Executive Vice-President senior Ashley Ross told the staff there were junior, senior and graduate student representative positions available and to be sure to get the word out. Applications for these positions are available through SGA’s website.

The new committees and committee members for the 2013-14 academic year announced their mission statements and short and long term goals.

The safety committee said its mission is to ensure campus-wide safety for all students and faculty. Its short-term goals include working to make more bike racks available, re-painting crosswalks, holding the Physical Plant responsible for changing failing lights around campus and setting up Christmas lights during the holiday season.

Its long term goals include adding more lights around the tennis courts, improving sidewalks, adding bike and skateboard trails, adding bike kiosks for students who want to rent bikes, covering the amphitheatre and adding more places to sit outside.

The traditions committee said its mission is to establish and maintain UCA traditions. Its short-term goals include adding hammock poles and rentals, as well as improving general landscape on campus.

Its long-term goals are to add more campus art, possibly an interactive sculpture or artwork from a local Conway artist, as well as a statue in the Alumni Circle surrounded by tables, places to sit in the brick pit outside of Irby Hall and to add ivy to Main Hall and other buildings. They also mentioned adding flags from different countries since UCA hosts a large international population.

The student services committee said its mission is to improve students’ experiences with services. Its short-term goals include increasing the number of charging stations around campus, updating building signs so that they are accurate, improving shuttle service and adding more rehydration stations.

Its long-term goals are to create an event center, a volleyball court, adding more recreation areas, as well as a daycare and adding more washers and dryers in residential halls.

“SGA is made up of hard workers and everyone cares,” Zachary Carter, newly-elected sophomore representative, said. “We want to work on trying to make UCA unique through things like architecture and landscaping.”

The housing and food services committee said its mission is to improve housing and food services for students. Its short-term goals are to get napkins put on tables in the Christian Cafeteria, keep the Grab N Go stocked, add more fresh fruit and provide allergy awareness.

Its long-term goals are to improve recycling, create a 24-hour food service, address concerns about freshmen capacity and urge the cafeteria to give leftovers to the needy instead of simply throwing them away.

The senate advancement committee said it wants to add suggestion boxes around high-volume areas, host more open forums to address student concerns and restructure SGA to shift from senator-at-large positions to student positions from each academic college.

The big event committee wants to create more service projects for Conway as a whole. They need to research this more and meet with executives on the financials needs for the event.

The legislative affairs committee said it wants to increase student awareness and reach out to other universities in order to establish a day that all college students can ascend upon the capital and make their voices heard.

It would like to host events for students to meet their congressmen, as well as increase voter registration and host stops for campaigns for the Arkansas 2014 election.

“It is such an honor to work with SGA and being able to give back,” Kelsey Broaddrick, newly- elected freshman president, said. “Right now we are about to set up suggestion boxes around campus to get feedback from students, and I can’t wait to start working on what the students need and are looking for.”

Newly-elected freshman representative AJ Marlin said he believes he can make a difference with SGA.

“In collaboration with some of the older members, I really feel that my involvement can help,” Marlin said. “My biggest interests pertain to handicap-accessible areas and doors on campus because I’ve personally gotten complaints from students who would like to see changes there. I feel like the goals we’ve set are definitely achievable and would really contribute to positive growth.”

SGA will continue to meet on Mondays as well as meet at the designated committee meeting times to work toward the goals listed.

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