Screenshot from the virtual SGA Senate meeting on Sep. 14, 2020 - News Editor / Corey Rothauser

Rowan’s Student Government Association (SGA) welcomed its senators back with a new, drastically different environment to conduct business in, but it is one that offers new opportunities.

SGA has never been more accessible than in virtual form, creating a unique opportunity for the student body to stay united and informed throughout its endeavors. Any Rowan student can join in through Proflink to help create a connected and equitable community.

Each senate meeting features a guest speaker relevant to current events on campus. This week, Scott Woodside, the director for the wellness center at Rowan, joined in to discuss COVID-19 with senators. 

“We can’t be comfortable. We know there’s an uptick, we know what we see with cases identified both on and off-campus,” Woodside said.

At the moment, there is no way to determine an accurate rate of increase in confirmed cases because the individuals the school reports on could have been tested weeks prior. 

“You are going to see those numbers go up and down. It’s difficult to use that as a metric,” Woodside said. “That’s why we don’t have that in our plan to shut down if we hit 100, 200, 300 cases — because it’s fluid.” 

You can find Rowan’s confirmed cases on the school website, which the Wellness Center updates with reports from the State Health Department, along with other resources.  

“We are going to stay in the same mode of operation, where we have roughly 17-18% of classes — mostly labs — in-person,” Woodside said. “We are not adding anything yet until we see a [decrease] in the cases we identify on and off-campus.”

Students who live on campus may receive an email from Assistant Vice President of Governmental Relations Kevin McCarthy regarding asymptomatic testing. Participants in the tests enter a raffle to win a $50 gift card to Barnes and Noble.

“It’s completely random, based on a sample size of on-campus students within each building,” McCarthy said. “I’ll email the selected student to get tested voluntarily.”

The asymptomatic test is randomly offered once a week to Rowan’s roughly 4,700 on-campus students; however, off-campus students would need to reach out to the Wellness Center. 

“We are working towards offering it to off-campus students and looking for the best way to get it done. Not everyone has their Glassboro residence on their Rowan forms, which is what we base our testing information on,” McCarthy said.

With the lengthy conversation on COVID-19 aside, SGA had some other announcements. AVP of Academic Affairs Matthew Beck revealed an increase in scholarship money for students.

“This year, we will be awarding $35,000 in scholarships each semester for a total of $70,000. The applications will come out Nov. 1 and close on Nov. 21,” Beck said.

According to Beck, each semester’s money will be divided into 25 scholarships, varying in size. One is $5,000, while 20 are $1,000. 

AVP of Student Affairs Jason Brooks announced a vote to change an SGA bylaw. The vote passed with a majority vote from senators.

“This makes the chief commissioner of community standards a legal resource for clubs and organizations. If clubs have any issues internally, he or she can advise you on that stuff,” Brooks said.

Brooks also stated that the chief commissioner of community standards would now be responsible for updating governing documents, being a mediator in disputes and liaising to the university’s council office.

The next SGA meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m.

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