A motion to approve funds for a pilot menstrual product program on campus was tabled at the Student Government Association’s (SGA’s) Monday night meeting after disagreement between the social justice and finance committees.
The disagreement came from the social justice committee’s original request to place menstrual products in 23 all-gender restrooms on campus, requesting $12,314.66. The finance committee didn’t believe this was a true pilot program and recommended $3,368 toward placing dispensers in six restrooms (with $1,700 for products $1,668 for six dispensers).
Maggie Calvert, vice president for diversity and inclusion, said that she was the only social justice committee member present at the finance meeting where this motion was discussed.
Calvert said the two committees agree to downsize the pilot program to 20 dispensers with 4,000 tampons and 3,000 pads, totaling around $7,000. However, Calvert wasn’t aware of the finance committee’s recommendation to downsize to six restrooms until after she had to leave early.
“Obviously with the difference in the two amounts being so large, we see that there was a kind of disconnect on consideration of what the social justice committee brought forward to the finance committee,” Calvert said.
The motion was ultimately sent back to finance committee. At a later formal meeting, the senate will address this motion again after the finance committee sends a new recommendation for approval.
Kaitlyn Hazelett, vice president of financial affairs, said that there was no guarantee that the finance committee will change its mind regarding its $3,368 recommendation.
“I don’t know if finance committee would be willing to change their minds on things, so I can’t make a promise because that comes down to their vote,” Hazelett said. “We’ll be willing to talk about different options, but at the end of the day, there’s no promise that their vote will change.”
Two representatives from the Macoskey Center expressed their concerns with the state of Harmony Road. Samantha Laurence, interim director, and Nikol Damato, student intern, shared their experiences working at the Macoskey Center and witnessing various car accidents.
According to Tabea Ohle, graduate senator, local police reported 27 major accidents on Harmony Road within the past five years. This data doesn’t include state police reports.
Laurence shared a story of one car accident at the Macoskey Center when a car swerved and flipped into an accessible parking space right outside the building.
“This was obviously very alarming to me to see this happening at my workplace as a student at the time and now being a staff member,” Laurence said. “It’s just been a concern, especially seeing students walking there.”
Laurence said that various solutions, including speed traps by university police, pedestrian signs and traffic direction for larger events, have been attempted, but few have been successful.
She also credited the Happy Bus for allowing students to ride the bus to neighboring Storm Harbor Equestrian Center. However, this still is an accessibility issue, as students need to walk on a longer path to get from Storm Harbor to the Macoskey Center.
SGA will hold two open forums on Nov. 18 and Nov. 26 to discuss changes to the constitution. These amendments will separate the SGA constitution from bylaws, which haven’t previously existed in SGA’s documentation.
Parliamentarian Matt Lerman explained the SGA’s constitution will state the fundamental principles of the organization while the bylaws will list governing rules.
“No structural changes are being made to the constitution,” Lerman said. “All we’re simply doing is pulling things out of the constitution to create a set of bylaws.”
The SGA senate will vote on these amendments and its final formal meeting of the semester on Dec. 9.
Khalil Harper, vice president of student and academic affairs, presented his report on the student life survey results. The Rocket will have more information on the full survey analysis in a later story.
SGA also approved Disc Golf Club, Planting with a Purpose and NeuroRocks as student organizations.
SGA’s next formal meeting will be on Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Student Center Theater.