Matt Rolwing, president of the Student Government Association (SGA), updated the Regents Feb. 14 on major SGA initiatives and upcoming events this spring.
Rolwing said SGA continues to focus on better promoting Southeast’s Counseling and Disability Services and Title IX services to ensure students know about the resources available at Southeast.
Rolwing said the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Student Government Safety Committee and a Student Safety Task Force are working together to address safety concerns on campus. The committee recently participated in a campus ride-along with members of the Student Safety Task Force, including representatives from Facilities Management, DPS, Telecommunications, Residence Life and University administration to identify specific areas on campus that are of concern. The ride-along received great engagement and feedback from students, and the committee is working to develop lighting and safety ideas for these areas, he said.
The DPS and Safety Committee also will be hosting Popcorn with the Police from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m April 3 in the University Center to bring University Police, the Cape Girardeau Police Department and students together in an open and friendly environment, encouraging students to interact with DPS officers.
SGA’s Student Fees Committee is working to educate students on student fees and how funds generated from these fees are being allocated, Rolwing said. Last year, Student Government recommended a three-year phased general fee increase. The portion being charged this academic year includes reallocations to better support information technology and student wellness, including Counseling and Disability Services.
Rolwing said the Serving SE (Southeast) Committee is focusing on creating and organizing service events on and around campus and in the local community this spring. The committee’s goal is to strengthen the relationship and interaction between students and the local community. This committee is also exploring installing Blessing Boxes on campus for all students, where anyone can donate or take food from them. SGA hopes to partner with the Redhawk Pantry to make this resource available at locations across campus.
Applications are currently open and available for SG elections, Rolwing said. There are currently six senator seats available in each college as well as openings for president, vice president and treasurer on SGA’s Executive Board. SG’s Promotions Committee and Elections Committee are working together to promote these elections across campus.
Additionally, special elections recently took place for the spring and SGA has four new senators this semester, Rowling said.
Next month, SGA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee will host a “Ask a …” booth from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 25-29 in which students, faculty and staff are invited to ask questions of members of various ethnic and cultural groups. A “Freaky Friday” program will also take place April 22-26 in which students from different areas of campus will trade places to walk in others’ shoes.
On March 18, SGA will host a Privilege Walk to help break barriers between students and encourage conversations and personal stories about privilege. SGA is considering options for guest speakers for this event, Rolwing said. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom A.
Rolwing concluded by thanking University officials for inviting SGA to the Strategic Enrollment Planning Kick-Off Event on Feb. 12. Students are talking about these issues, developing ideas and looking forward to working together as a campus community in the future, he said.