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SGA Genboard Round-Up 11/13

Luke Young


Managing Editor


This week’s Student Government Association meeting begins with E-Board reports, in the same way as usual. 

Jonah Rosenberg, USSB representative, updated the room on the survey sent out about Blue Light Phones, as it received 463 responses which he and his team are examining to define a way forward. Emily Coutermarsh, Student Trustee, met with the Provost about the counseling center to discuss promoting the resources they offer and how to go about eliminating the waitlist. Devonte Gilmore, Student Body President, let the room know that the ski packages will be announced on Wednesday. Jess Dutille, SGA advisor, was impressed by the turnout at First Fire and was surprised to find out that 1,200 mugs were distributed within 15 minutes, which is a record for the event. She was disappointed, however, at the state of the SSF food pantry, as those using its resources have left trash and dirty dishes, which makes the space less usable for others. 

Class councils had little to report this week. The Senior Class council has received no response from Adam Sandler and has since found out that he charges $200,000 for speaking events. The opportunity to speak at commencement is intended to be an honor, so they’re working on many other ideas. The Freshman Class council is working on a symposium event geared towards checking in on their constituents and has begun working on stickers for the event.

The guest speaker of the night was Drew Guay, accompanied by Campus Recreation student leaders Brianna Hannigan, Julia Soucy, and Kylee McGurn. Guay stated that these student leaders are essential to the success of Women’s Power Hour because they’re “people who bring a positive energy, a great attitude, and help others that are coming in, [because] it doesn’t matter what your fitness level is, we want everybody to have a space that they belong.” He reported that more than 70 women have begun attending WPH specifically, which trumps the usual 3-to-1 ratio of men to women in the gym. Guay does recognize that men may also struggle to go to the gym, which is why Lifting Buddies, a “beginner” program, was introduced alongside WPH. They also reported that “President Birx firmly stands behind our program and fully supports everything that we’re doing. So I really appreciate the backing and the support for that.”

Birx himself affirmed that WPH is a very useful program and the experiences of attendants are very valuable but that there is a right and wrong way to go about this. Currently, the issue is being left to the Frost House to figure out but added that “… I don’t think it’s something that we’re going to eliminate. But I think it may be something that we expand upon and offer a range of opportunities to others. The success of it speaks for itself. And I think that there are other ways we can make this useful for other students, I think all the better.”

Soucy reported being impressed that, “Every week, we’re seeing more and more women come in. This past week, we actually had record-breaking numbers, [of] over 120 women show up which was super nice.” She also stated that the program has helped with building many women’s comfort in the gym, as women have reportedly been going to the gym during more hours of the day. McGurn reported seeing changes in men’s attitudes since the program’s implementation, with one individual previously “not being happy he had to leave at 6 pm,” but as of two weeks ago “[he] came up to [McGurn] personally and said that he was happy to see where this program was going and that he was proud.” Hannigan believes that the success of WPH has brought on the backlash, and spoke to her personal experience as a powerlifter and the frustration a male-dominated gym brought her. To support the goal of Campus Recreation to improve their programs and become as inclusive as possible, they advise people to attend Lifting Buddies and not to hesitate to reach out to the program.

The History and Social Studies Education Club began their presentation for a CEA request. Andrea Larochelle, President of the HISSE club, described the club’s mission as “to create connections that we can’t build in the classroom [and form an] amazing, inclusive, and fun community that loves history.” The CEA request is for 10 club members to attend the National Council for the Social Studies Conference from Dec. 1st to 3rd in Nashville, TN, which is the largest professional association in the country devoted solely to social studies. Their ask is about $13,150 from SGA, though each member will contribute $100 out of pocket, and they plan to fundraise a few ways. The recommendation of Erin Johnson, SGA Treasurer, is to give the club $4,200 for four members to fly there and have a hotel room, but not to cover the cost of registration, as they have money in their budget for the conference fees.

SGA finalized their recommendation for Student Fees, with no meaningful changes made. Leaf cars, a set of electric cars for students to use for travel in the area, will be defunded, due to lack of use over the past few years. SGA will be recommending that some of the money put towards transportation fees should be put toward a tracking app for shuttles, once UNH makes their decision. Finally, in the future, student activities will be able to draw from healthy financial reserves so funds allocated to clubs can’t be tapped into for other purposes. 

There were very few constituent concerns for the week, with Student Life investigating residential halls and looking into biohazards around campus. Gilmore reminded the room that a form pertaining to the reporting of bias is available, which goes directly to the IDEA center. Alternatively, students can stop by the IDEA center and speak to Alberto Ramos personally about any issues they’re facing. This ended the SGA meeting for this week.