The Student Government Association pledged Wednesday evening to accurately represent the student body’s interests to those with power in the school and government throughout the College’s multifaceted changes. With frequent mention of the presidential search and the proposed merger with MUSC, members of the SGA Executive Council assured students that their voices do indeed matter and encouraged them to express their opinions.
“Now more than any other time in the College’s history, the student body’s voices must be heard,” SGA Vice President Chris Piedmont said. “We are listening.” On Monday, SGA sent a survey to the entire student body to collect students’ thoughts about the proposed merger, which they will use to draft a statement that they intend to present to the S.C. House. On Feb. 20, SGA will alson host a student open forum at 6:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall where students can ask questions and express opinions about the merger.
SGA Secretary Ryan Spraker was equally vocal in assuring students that he will speak on their behalf to the powers that be. “As the only underclassman [on Executive Council], I want to assure that as long as I am here, I will keep our needs, the students’ needs, relevant and leading in the conversations,” he said.
In addition to the merger, the Executive Council updated students on the status of the presidential search. Student body President Jordan Hensley, who served as the student representative on the Presidential Search Committee, described the committee as “overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of people in our applicant pool.” After reading over 100 applications, the Board of the Presidential Search Committee has narrowed the selection pool to a final five, and they will name the 22nd president of the College in the coming weeks.
In the midst of so much change, some procedures continue as always. SGA Treasurer Peyton McGuire allocated $110,000 for 20 student organizations and $5,000 in student outreach funds for “educational and enriching experiences.” This money comes from a required student fee.
The Senate approved 21 new organizations this legislative session including Rotaract CofC, Amnesty International and the Cheese Club. Four organizations are currently in the process of becoming approved. Secretary Spraker invited students to take advantage of the opportunity to form or join a club, urging students to “plant your feet, join a club and find your home away from home at College of Charleston.”
New legislation drafted this year includes recommendations from the Bike and Skateboard Safety Commission and a bill for a 24 hour library policy, both in various stages of development.
As SGA finished the State of the Student Body Address, one fact was astoundingly clear: The future of CofC is hazy. At this time next year, we will have a new president at the student and administrative level, and we might even have a new name. Vice President Piedmont said it all, stating, “We are in interesting times at the College of Charleston.”