Proposed new fee increases and new clubs topics of SGA meeting

Published by adviser, Author: Logan Campbell - Asst. News Editor, Date: February 28, 2017

The Slippery Rock Student Government Association held their formal meeting Monday night, during which proposed fee increases for student services and the Health Center were discussed.

Debra Pincek, executive director of student services, was in attendance to inform the student body why exactly meal plan fee would go up. Pincek is in charge of student housing, dining and the student center on campus. Pincek said that the dining services are run as a separate auxiliary operation, and the fees students pay for meal plans goes into upkeep of these services. These fees also help pay for utilities, maintenance crews, administration overhead and budget services. Pincek said SRU is currently in year three of a five-year renewal process with AVI, and the meal plans have gone up a little bit each year.

“The proposed CPI increase would be roughly 2.23 percent, which would translate to about $40 per semester,” Pincek said. “Seventy-five percent of the proposed increases go to the food services. We currently have a plant reserve account which we can use to purchase new equipment. I have used close to $800,000 this year alone to purchase new equipment for the back-of-house operations.”

Pincek said the basis for the determination of fee increases is by using the 15-week meal plan that most students use. Pincek said this fee increase is necessary to ensure the equipment is up to date, and that students receive the best dining experience they can.

“If this proposed fee is not approved, we will be roughly in a $224,000 deficit for next year,” Pincek said. “AVI will get this fee increase no matter what happens. Students have been very supportive and appreciative of AVI, and have provided us a lot of great feedback. Look at Boozel Express and how huge of a hit that has been–these fee increases help us do great things like this.”

Kristina Benkeser, student health services director, discussed the proposed fee increases to the Health Center and what the fees go towards. Benkeser said the cost for providing 24/7 care has gone up, and SRU is special since it still offers 24/7 health services to students. Benkeser said the major reason for the fee increase is so students with mental health problems can get the help they need.

“In order for us to help these students, we would need about $155.50 per semester. This would only be $34 per year, so only an extra $17 per semester. Imagine a cliff with nurses waiting at the bottom to catch students once they hit rock bottom. Our goal is so intervene at the top before students hit their lowest point. If this fee is not increased, we will be looking at a $140,000 deficit for next year.”

Benkeser mentioned how health services has a plant reserve with about $188,000, but that is to be saved for an emergency situation.

“I know at Pitt right now they have an outbreak of the mumps, and if that happened here we would need to mobilize a massive immunization,” Benkeser said. “We need to save our reserves in case something like that were to happen, or worse.”

Sarah Arpino, vice president of internal affairs, spoke about the upcoming Rising Stars event which will be held May 3 at 5 p.m. in the SSC Ballroom. This event will recognize individual and group leaders across campus, Arpino said. Individual applications are due by by March 9 at 4 p.m., and group applications are due by April 17.

Brian Welsh, vice president of financial affairs, announced the recipients of the SRSGA Conference Grants. The grants are broken down into three levels of grant money received which include $500, $306.75 and $75.

The Athletic Training Association, SRU Potter’s Guild, The Pennsylvania Collegiate Middle Level Association, The Council for Exceptional Children and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity each received $500 for conferences.

The Flute Choir, Musical Therapy Club and the PA CMLA were all awarded $306.75.

Finally, WSRU-TV was granted $75 for their conference grant.

Abby Fugh, vice president of student and academic affairs, discussed this semester’s safety week from March 27-31. The Inter Fraternal Council and the American Society of Safety Engineers will be co-sponsors for the events.

Fugh also discussed the new event called the Rock Olympiad, which will occur on April 8 from 10 a.m. -3 p.m. This event will be teams of eight people, with an entrance fee of any items that can be donated to charity, Fugh said.

SGA approved three new clubs and organizations as well as four new initiative requests to highlight a busy new business section of the meeting.

First, SGA approved Between Two Trees and Hammocking Club as a new club to campus. This club will look to give students the opportunity to enjoy nature while doing some outdoor activities such as slack-lining and using a hammock, Ryan Naylor, club representative, said.

Young Progressives was the next organization to be recognized by SGA. This organization will give students the chance to remain as an independent party member, and not have to pick a political party, a club representative said. This is the first Young Progressives Club that is now at a PASSHE school.

Finally, Anthropology and Sociology Honorary or Sigma Sigma Kappa, was recognized as a new club for people interested in these areas.

The Swim and Dive Club was awarded $11,112.62 for lodging, transportation and fees for the Collegiate National Championships in Atlanta, Ga.

The Flute Choir received their request of $3,360 for a new alto flute.

Autism Speaks was granted the request of $1,235 for supplies, advertising and food, for a conference that will be held for Autism Speaks chapters here at SRU.

Finally, SGA approved the request of $325 for Harbors for their transportation and food from a conference last weekend.

SGA also elected a new graduate senator, a Building B senato  and two commuter senators. The minutes from Feb. 13 were approved, as well as the members of the election committee for the next SGA senate.

Wendy Leitera, SGA business manager and adviser, credited SGA President Logan Steigerwalt for how well he represented not only SGA but all state schools at the State House and Senate Appropriations Committee meeting.

“Logan was asked some pretty difficult and strenuous questions, but handled himself very well,” Leitera said. “He represented not only our campus but all of the state schools, and fought for them on everyone’s behalf.”

The next SGA formal meeting will not occur until after spring break once students return to campus.


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