The Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SRSGA) wrapped up business for the semester at its final formal meeting with a presentation of the results from the student life survey.
Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs Grant Warmbein, along with Senator Caleb Covey, presented their findings to the Senate.
This year’s survey focused on seven areas ranging from diversity and inclusion to food service and insecurity. The SRSGA received 901 responses this year, the second-highest since the survey began.
While the survey was mostly split evenly among the undergraduate and graduate students, a significantly higher portion of the results came from those who identify as white and female. Warmbein said he would like to rectify this issue in the data for the next year.
Diving into the data, Warmbein said most white men who responded said the university makes them “feel welcomed and supported,” whereas non-white men disagreed with that statement.
“So, moving forward we are going to work with the social justice committee like we have [in the past],” Covey said with regard to what was found in the data.
Warmbein and Covey also covered mental health and how students felt about the food quality.
Many respondents said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the counseling services offered on campus. Just this year, the university hired a counselor of color to help diversify its staff.
However, a lot of students responded that they were not aware of all the services offered but Warmbein has a solution in the works.
“So, increasing the counseling center’s social media presence is going to be very important,” Warmbein said.
Warmbein added that he plans on having a speaker during student safety week to talk about student mental health and he noted that all senators must take Kognito training that focuses on mental health.
As for the food service on campus, many said they were dissatisfied with Aramark’s offerings. Juniors were the most upset, with nearly 48% of them either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. Seniors had the second-highest level of dissatisfaction followed by freshmen, graduate students and sophomores.
Warmbein said as he went through the open responses the most common response was “food sucks.” He attributed that to Aramark not offering quality options on a consistent basis.
He added that the SRSGA created an ad-hoc committee on Oct. 18 to work with the university and Aramark to address student issues and ensure everything is being done to provide a better experience. One of the changes to come out of that committee, headed by Senator Gabe Stiles was the increase of student worker wages to $11 an hour.
Stiles and Warbein both said they hope the increase in wages will attract more workers so the dining options and hours can expand. This semester, Aramark started operations with roughly one-third of employees not returning either due to finding other work or retirement.
The Senate approved two funding initiatives for women’s lacrosse and men’s rugby. The body unanimously approved $5,010 for the lacrosse team’s transportation and game fees.
The rugby team received $2,286 for transportation reimbursement to post-season matchups.
Vice President of Finance Sydney Rezzetano explained the team had transported themselves in six of their own vehicles. They were reimbursed at a rate of 30 cents per mile for the 635-mile trip.
The Senate approved five more student organizations before the end of the semester.
Coaching Club, an organization to help students from any major that wants to become an athletic coach in the future, received unanimous approval.
Psi Chi, an organization to promote learning within SRU’s psychology department, sought approval to be recognized but was not seeking any funding from the SRSGA. They were approved with Vice President of Campus Outreach Aiden Donnelly abstaining.
Sales Club was approved by the Senate. The organization, which is being started by SRSGA President Mia Graziani, looks to help students who want to go into selling, with their skills.
The Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management plans to help those going into the career field with opportunities to expand their knowledge of the issues and trends within the human resource area. The group, which plans to host speakers from local professional chapter, was unanimously approved.
The Student National Association of Teachers of Singing was unanimously approved. The organization aims to provide students with teaching and learning experiences no matter what their major may be.
Both Alexis Gish, vice president of diversity and inclusion, and Claudia Allen were each awarded a $500 SRSGA Scholarship. The two were the highest scoring out of four applicants. Rezzetano said the names were kept off the scholarship list and awardees were selected without their identity being known. Both Gish and Senator Amanda Brock abstained from the vote.
Parliamentarian Nicholas Condon was selected to chair the election commission for the upcoming Senate and executive officer races. Condon will be joined by Donnelly, who will co-chair the committee.
Condon encouraged those currently serving who will not be seeking reelection in the spring to join the committee. SRSGA advisor Lauren Moran not only encouraged those who can to join the committee but asked students to seek any position they believe they are qualified for.
“You should run for [any position], doesn’t matter who else is running,” Moran said. “We want to see a contested election.
“Your student body should have options.”
At the end of the meeting, Graziani said she has been more than happy with how the first semester back in person has gone.
“I think everybody was calm, cool and confident,” Graziani said. “That was really nice to see considering we didn’t have a lot of interaction with students last year.”
The SRSGA will have an informal meeting Monday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. The body will also meet on Jan. 16 for their spring retreat.
There are no meetings schedule yet for the spring semester.