Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

SGA meeting April 28th

The SGA meeting on Thursday gave moeny to two groups, the leaders of the Culture Houses and Damascus Roads.
The houses that received funding were Casa Latina, Asian Pagoda, Black Culture house. Their requests were for $1,465, $1,115, $1,825, respectively.  The money would be used to clean and maintain the houses, as they have had plenty of use over the past year.
According the Office of Multicultural Student Life representatives, the houses have been a valuable resource to students, as well as an available safe space to everyone. All of them have been and will be available for all students to use.
One house, the Black Culture house, will be moving from its current location into the Larson House. The amount of people that have been using the house has led to a need for a larger space.
Normally, all money used for the houses comes from the Office of Multicultural Student Life; however, it is towards the end of the year, and therefore the OMSL cannot offer money as easily as before. Other options that might save money, such as asking facilities to manage it, have been tried but have not helped.
Along with the maintenance, some of the money would be going towards making the houses more pleasant spaces, such as updated artwork and adding entertainment services (such as Netflix).
After questioning the contingency, the SGA agreed to grant the full amounts, equal to approximately $4,405.
“I think they’re really effective,” said President Sommers, regarding the culture houses. “I’m happy that we are funding them and promoting them to hopefully get more members to use the culture houses.
The second group, Damascus Road (who many know as the group that gives free drinks in a blue tent on the lower quad), was requesting about $950 for travel expenses to Colorado for a conference, as well as some new equipment. The groups consists of about 15 members, 7 active.
According to DR, the trip would help give those in the group a chance to learn leadership skills and help spread awareness for their group. Three members of DR would be going on the trip, and it has been planned to be as low cost as possible. Some of the money would be used for new banners and other miscellaneous help for the group.
The equipment that they regularly use on the lower quad has been broken down from use, and the group has been dealing with it for about a year.
The SGA granted Damascus Road the full $950.
After the contingencies, there was some questioning about the fire pit idea that had been a source of disagreement in the SGA since it was offered. Many of the SGA supports the idea; however, others have been voicing many concerns about whether having one on campus would be safe and in the schools best interest. One frustrated senator thought that maybe the Executive Board had been pushing the idea a little too quickly.
Sommers assured the senators that there would be a formal contingency next meeting, during which detailed plans would be open for questioning and those opposed could prevent funding.
When the meeting was drawing to a close, the graduation chords had been handed out during the meeting. They are awarded to seniors who finish the year as members of SGA.
Sommers also had some thoughts as to how SGA had managed throughout the year.
“I think this past year went really, really well. Our strategy of being very conservative at our budget meeting… telling groups that ‘SGA is here, but you need to fundraise in order for us to fund you guys’ really worked,” said Sommers. “SAGA, and other groups like that, really showed that.”
Thinking ahead to next year, Sommers said, “Charlie is going to do some great things. He has some really good ideas for next year, and restructuring  how he wants to do different things… I hope there is still that drive and push to really support groups and really help out any and all students and groups.”

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SGA meeting April 28th