SGA approves $2.5 million turfing project, 2024-25 senate meets

Intramural fields set to be turfed and 2024-25 senate organizes

Published by Hayden Schultz, Date: April 25, 2024
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SRSGA convened on Monday evening in the Smith Student Center (SSC) Theatre to wrap up this year’s business and organize the 2024-2025 senate.

In the first meeting, normal business was conducted including approval of the 2024-2025 stipend budget and up to $2.5 million to fund the turfing of the intramural field. Results from the Student Life Survey were also discussed. During open forum, Exercise Science and Athletic Training Professor Bonnie Stiple spoke against outsourcing SRU’s Student Health Services (SHS).

The second meeting entailed swearing in the 2024-2025 senate and voting to approve Owen Maharg as Speaker of the Senate and Reagan Czerniewski as Parliamentarian.

New executive board positions

Winners of April’s 2024-2025 SRSGA election were sworn in during Monday’s second meeting. The full list of senators and executive board members can be seen here.

A vote was cast among the newly elected senate deciding between College of Education Senator Emma Williams, College of Health Professions Senator Hannah Ogoreuc, College of Liberal Arts Senators Abigail Mortensen and Norah Spradling and College of Education Senator Maharg. Maharg received the majority vote and was confirmed as Speaker of the Senate.

College of Liberal Arts Senator Czerniewski was appointed to Parliamentarian by Ella Bloom. Czerniewski’s appointment was unanimously approved by the senate.

Finances and Student Life Survey

A motion was passed unanimously to fund the intramural field turfing project dedicating up to $2.5 million for areas in the James. P McFarland Recreational Sports Complex.

Bloom said she, SGA advisors and newly elected Vice President of Finance Jaeda Johnston would work with a turfing company over the summer aiming for a fall of 2025 finish.

“I think this is a good example of a project that the student body will really get to see and be able to say SGA did that,” Bloom said. “The student body doesn’t always get to see what we do.”

Vice President of Finance Sydney Rezzetano said the spending would not hurt any investment accounts and does not include any funds coming out of restricted accounts.

“We have a pretty healthy reserve account, and we are being strategic about it,” Rezzetano said,

The Men’s Rugby Club new initiative request of $2,627.24 was also unanimously approved along with the campus-wide 2024-2025 stipend budget.

SRSGA also presented their Student Life Survey, gauging student perspectives and opinions.

Of the 1,478 respondents, two-thirds were female, 11% identified as minorities and each class was represented with margins above 20%, aside from graduate students at 13%.

Highlights included a high rating of student/faculty interactions, and students specifically requested additional meal swipe options, an Amazon drop off location and greater wheelchair accessibility outside of buildings.

Negative outlooks included parking situations, lack of snow days and cancellations, 40% of students not having finances to purchase education related materials and overall poor mental health with two-thirds of respondents suffering from anxiety or panic attacks and one-third from depression.

Siple on SHS outsourcing

Professor and practicing healthcare provider Bonnie Siple spoke during the open forum, advising SRU to move away from outsourcing the SHS.

“I was compelled to come and speak with you all tonight because I’m very, very concerned about the future of health services here on campus next year,” she said.

Siple said she believes the SHS will be outsourced and, according to Siple, outsourcing is “a really, really bad idea.” Siple also said outsourcing by sister universities “are not going well in a lot of cases.” She also said she understands cost cutting might be necessary in some places but believes “healthcare is the last thing that should go.”

Siple explained how she believes SRU is miscalculating the idea of outsourcing, risking vacant nursing positions due to national worker shortages for healthcare systems.

“The local hospital systems in the area can’t fill the positions they need to in their own healthcare systems,” she said. “They’re sure as heck not going to be able to bring people in here to fill the positions.”

According to Siple, the committee who evaluated the options for SHS believed partnerships, not outsourcing, is the way to go moving forward, something she agreed with.

“We have it all right here on this campus,” she said, listing SRU’s various healthcare profession programs. “We should be partnering with other healthcare institutions in this area to support our health services that are already here, we can do that in house.”

The Rocket is continuing to report on the developing SHS situation. Previous developments can be read here.

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Hayden Schultz is a junior Strategic Communication and Media Major with a concentration in multimedia journalism and minor in political science. He serves as the assistant news editor and this is his first semester on The Rocket staff. When he is not writing or investigating, Hayden enjoys athletics and MMA in his free time, along with spending time with family and friends.

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