SGA Launches Student Outreach Campaign, Funds Yule Ball

On Nov. 9, 2017, the Student Government Association (SGA) held another meeting in the Lane Atkinson room. The meeting began a bit later than usual as there were some technical difficulties involving the microphones, but they were solved. As the meeting started up, SGA President James Kirk notified everyone that a special guest was attending the meeting. George Edwards, a Maryland State Senator, representative of District 1, told the attendees of the meeting that he came to see what Frostburg’s SGA was like, and if he could learn anything from them. He also has children who attended FSU, and has a granddaughter who is currently a student. The roll call then ensued, and the address of the gallery, which consisted of representatives of the Fandom Society, as they were the only student organization that put in a funding packet to be addressed that week.

The direction of the meeting then changed to address announcements among the board members. The first update was from Vice President J Gourdin. The Homecoming Committee is going to continue meeting this semester, and will be preparing for next year’s homecoming. Applications to serve as SGA’s representative on the homecoming committee will be distributed internally, and it was also noted that this year’s homecoming was a huge financial success. There will also be a video series coming from the University Programming Council that will reach out to TV3, Frostburg’s TV station.

SGA Secretary Emma Edwards, the granddaughter of Senator Edwards, announced that she will be working with President Kirk to complete the annual SGA review of the homecoming committee and homecoming events. As far as the public relations update, the SGA meeting was being live streamed on Twitter for the first time.  In addition, SGA announced that it will soon be launching a campus outreach campaign focused on the theme “Better the ‘Burg.” Campus updates were also brief, but newsworthy, as Chartwell’s announced that they’ll be having an open house, which is a perfect opportunity for students to state their opinion on Chartwell’s catering services and food. The skateboard policy that was called into question has not seen any changes.

The General Education Review Committee is having a feedback/forum session on Monday, Nov. 20, and this is also a great opportunity for students to come out and give feedback on the general education program. The Gender-Based Harassment and Violence Elimination Task Force is planning to bring back The Vagina Monologues, which was an annual play hosted by the Department for Theater and Dance and the Women’s Studies department to raise awareness for sexual abuse and domestic violence. There will also be lots of other events hosted around campus that deal with domestic violence and sexual abuse.

President Kirk serves on the University System of Maryland Student Council (USMSC), and discussed concerns by that body about the recent Republican tax plan introduced by members of the United States House of Representatives.  As introduced, the plan would charge graduate students income taxes on tuition stipends, effectively increasing their tax rate dramatically by taxing income that these students never actually receive directly.

A representative of UPC said that UPC will be hiring for Spring semester, and applications will be starting this week. The BSA is also holding their annual Thanksgiving donations, and will be accepting donations as well as BSA dues should students show interest in being part of BSA. They also plan on holding a Battle of the Sexes event.

Moving on to new business, the Fandom Society’s funding packet for their Yule Ball, being held Nov. 17, was addressed. The Fandom Society has never hosted an event like this before. It is an event catered to those who are introverted and don’t like huge dances, like the ones often held on campus. The Yule Ball is a Harry Potter and winter themed dance that will be held in the ARMAH in Lane. They are selling tickets ($10 for single attendees, $15 for couples), and it is expected that 100-250 students will attend. They requested an amount of $2,194, but the Senate Finance Committee put in partial funding in the amount of $1,712.

The Fandom Society has done some marketing around campus through posters, white boards, giving out Harry Potter wands, and inviting people to decorate ornaments. They also stated that they have hidden a “golden snitch” on campus, and obtaining one will give whoever finds it a discount. As of Wednesday, Nov. 8, they have sold about 25 tickets for this event. The event won’t be a very fast-paced dance, and will have lots of “throwback” music. It’s also mostly catering to the more closeted nerd culture around campus. Vice President Gourdin asked the Fandom Society members a couple of questions to better understand what this event is going to be about, and to inform them of the rules of advertising on campus. She also recommended that the Fandom Society collaborate with larger groups, or groups of the same size. The representatives respond that they do collaborate with Frost Hall and RHA. The funding packet was approved, and Senator Puffinburger made a comment saying she thought the Yule Ball is a really great idea, as it will give more students a chance to come out and be social.

There were no other announcements, and the meeting was adjourned for the night.

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