The university’s Student Government Association (SGA) kicked off their first meeting of the semester on Jan. 19 with almost perfect attendance of the Senate, hosting speakers from the Panther’s Pantry and the university’s’ office of Student Victim Assistance.
Speaker of the House Blessing Akomas confirmed that a big focus of this semester’s Senate goals is getting members more involved on campus. Akomas urged Senators to bring in organizations they know about and have them speak to the Senate.
“The reason why I really want them to bring in organizations is [because] there’s a lot of stuff our Senators are passionate about and they may not feel like they can talk about it here, so it’s an opportunity to bring [organizations] they’re interested in, into the Senate so that way other students can know about it,” she said.
Akomas said all Senators are asked to be in Standing Committees, in charge of different aspects of SGA’s activities and student involvement. She said keeping students in the loop means they’ll be hosting one to two town halls this semester.
“A few years ago, we had housing come in [for a Town Hall] when they were working on gender-inclusion,” Akomas said. “We wanted to that again this year, especially with all the changes in the library and then some of the different things like Turner Field, some students don’t know about it so it’d be a good way to inform students about that.”
Last year, SGA’s town hall was weeks after the string of armed robberies in the Atlanta campus library, and the association brought in Georgia State police to talk about new policies and procedures of safety. But the lack of student attendance was obvious in the Student Center Ballroom, a factor which Akomas said they’re working on, but with restrictions.
“This year we’re a little more constricted with our marketing, because of the consolidation, it has to be more specific and go through the Student Center for events we want to do, we have to get everything out in advance. So right now they’re aware of it and we’re working on the flyers,” she said.
Students can also expect e-mail blasts to start making their appearance from SGA, as Akomas said a Georgia State survey found that was the way students preferred getting their information.
“That’s why we moved SGA Now [the association’s newsletter] from pamphlet to online,” she said.
Sen. Joshua Scales also updated the members on the much-awaited for CatNap room, whose luxuries students will be able to enjoy starting midterms. Scales said that while in the fall semester they were lacking funding which would help cover the renting costs of cots, they’re now moving ahead with the project.
The CatNap room will be located in Student Center West, room 259, and while he said he doesn’t expect a lot of students to know about it by midterms (although it will be available), SGA will really up their CatNap marketing techniques to attract a crowd by spring finals.
New on the floor was also a ‘Microwave Resolution’, presented to the Senate by Sen. Corey Gray. The resolution would place additional microwaves throughout Georgia State’s campus. Gray said the proposed resolution would help all students, but especially commuters.
“We’re really just trying to make sure that we have enough microwaves that can benefit all of our students, as far as our commuter students, and having them in locations to where everyone knows where they are and they’re findable and people aren’t having puzzled faces or aren’t confused about where they can go to microwave their food,” Gray said.
The next SGA meeting on Jan. 26 will be university-wide, hosting student government members from all six campuses, and university president Mark Becker is set to make an appearance as speaker.
Wesley Dunkirk contributed to this article.