Housing, Financial aid, Georgia State diversity all discussed the first meeting

The Student Government Association (SGA) spent their Senate meeting on Aug. 24 getting their affairs in order. Senators have big plans for the upcoming academic year including appealing to the many complaints of the student body.

Sen. Joshua Akiniola-King gave a brief overview of the housing panel held an hour prior to the meeting. The panel discussed the current state of the housing overflow and the cause of the mix-up.

“What Director Brown did was bank on the cancellations based on data from the last number of years,” King said. “For example when we first started this year before school started there were about five hundred beds that were overbooked. Now that went down to 120 just because of cancellations. Within the next week or so that number is going to drop even more.”

Senators motioned to support an issue that was discussed in the University wide Senate. Sen. Jessica Siemer introduced the issue as Georgia State’s lack of a diverse faculty. SGA will be assisting in finding a resolution that holds the university accountable for hiring a more diverse group of individuals.  

“We were approached by a faculty member as Chair of the Multicultural communities within the faculty and university setting. There was an initiative before that GSU said we will make it a priority in recruiting a diverse faculty,” Siemer said. “[The faculty member] brought in some statistics and we didn’t see that up trend  of then hiring a diverse faculty. They basically ignored the initiative that was set forth.”

Siemer will also be leading the haul in drafting a legislation to create a “dead week” which will require teachers to refrain from assigning essays or exams the week before finals unless it’s a semester long project.

Sen. Alondra Cruz-Hernandez and Chair of the Student Services Committee announced that SGA is planning to coordinate with the Financial Aid office to better educate students on the process it takes to verify their accounts.

“Like I said many times financial aid is definitely an issue here on the Atlanta campus, whether that’s wait times, whether that’s overcapacity in general like having to help a lot of students and not enough advisors,” Hernandez said. “I have talked to many of the advisors that actually look at all the documents and process all those documents. A good number of them have expressed interest in holding some kind of informational or panel.”

Hernandez also mentioned that SGA will be partially funding the grocery shuttles for the housing residents to have transportation to the store in partnership with the Resident Housing Association (RHA).

“SGA and RHA will contribute half on half on the price of the shuttle for fall and the spring semester RHA will cover that entire cost,” Hernandez said. “So that students know that SGA is here and we’re doing things for the students.”

SGA has come into a lump sum of funding that have increased their reach according to Sen.  and Finance chair Zuri May. The PR budget has increased by $1,200 and the co-sponsorship budget has increased by $1,900, making their total $14,900.

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