Final SGA Senate Meeting of the Semester Highlights the School Year and Reveals Next Year’s Budget

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On Monday, April 19, Rowan University’s Student Government Association (SGA) had their final meeting of the academic year. During the meeting, they discussed two new resolutions, voted on and approved two new aspiring clubs, went over the board members report and ended with saying goodbye and thank you to the graduating student members. 

The first resolution they voted on, resolution 2021-005, stated that its purpose is to honor all faculty in all departments for their work during the pandemic. 

The resolution states, “Rowan University students are incredibly fortunate to have a faculty and staff that is dedicated to the institution. Whereas in March 2020, COVID-19 disrupted the in-person operations at Rowan and countless campuses across America. Rowan University faculty and staff have performed exceptionally in facing adversity and have continued to provide the students with first class education.” 

Current SGA President Arielle Gedeon gave the announcement and congratulated SGA President-elect Mathew Beck, previously the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Also in Gedeon’s report, she gave her proclamation and thanked Rowan’s EMS group for stepping up and taking care of the students and faculty with COVID testing and vaccines. 

SGA Student Trustee Kyle Perez gave his report, which included a new and improved survey being released by the Flexible Worker of the Future Committee. The survey will focus on the current student services available and future plans for other services. This will hopefully result in improvements for student services for on- and off-campus. 

Perez had also attended a Budget and Finance Committee meeting where there was approval for an increase in budget and finances for summer rental rates, meal plan rates and updates to Holly Pointe security. 

Alternate Student Trustee Samantha Bollendorf also gave her report that the Facilities and Operations Committee announced the opening of the new Osteopathic Medicine building at Rowan College of South Jersey in Sewell. Also on Rowan’s Glassboro campus, the Student Center expansion project is in its design phase and will have visuals to show as early as May. 

SGA Assistant Vice President of Facilities and Operations Liam Cutri-French provided an update for the Meditation Walk Project, which was voted for last semester; the project will be completed in the summer and will be open this upcoming fall semester. 

Joe Frascella, SGA Assistant Vice President of University Advancement, added that if you are graduating this year, you should visit alumni.rowan.edu/checklist for a list of things you can do as an alumni to stay in contact with Rowan. He also reminded current seniors to continue to check their emails, as there will be information about senior night and graduation soon. 

The Chief of Finances of the SGA, Fiona Hughes, also announced that the Senate had agreed upon and completed a budget for this upcoming year and reported its significant changes. 

The scholarship account will be funded with $60,000 this year as opposed to the usual amount of $10,000-$20,000. As a result, Rowan will be able to grant out $30,000 in scholarships each semester. The Student University Programmers (SUP) account usually averages around $400,000 per year, although this year, due to a rollover, the SUP’s funds will exceed $500,000. 

“It’s great that Rowan allowed this rollover because next year coming back to campus the SUP should be able utilize the extra funds well in student activities and extras,” Hughes explained. 

The Clubs Special Project account also had a rollover of around $90,000, with around $65,000 being allocated. This is due to the expectation that clubs will be able to thrive stronger and in more numbers as students come back to campus. 

Hughes said, “This is my favorite budget of all four years that I’ve sat in on budget hearings. Coming off a hard year, I’m really proud of this budget and think it could really improve and help the activity back on campus next year.” 

As for new business reports, the SGA passed resolution 2021-022 which concerned the Divine Nine Plots Project. It was decided that these plots will be not far off from the Engineering building and across from Wilson Hall in an effort to not be in the way of the Wilson Hall expansion. With all of the materials ready, the plots are projected to be finished by spring of 2022. 

The meeting concluded with the SGA voting on and passing both of the clubs that were petitioning, one being the Spiritualistic Studies Club (SSC) and the other the Love Blue Rowan Chapter. 

Sara Bellacicco, the President of SSC, represented the club, stating its purpose is to promote religious tolerance within the education of spiritualistic religious practices. She wants the club to be able to educate different people who do not know a lot about these different religions and practices. This club would involve regular activities like Tarot readings and group cleansing sessions. 

Kevin Baker, founding President of Love Blue Rowan Chapter, represented the second club during the meeting, stating that its purpose is to inspire the future leaders of the world and, more importantly those at Rowan to take a stand against the pollution crisis to help create a more sustainable future. This non-profit organization’s revolving purpose would be to clean up the surrounding area’s beaches. This club may be of interest to any students who are in need of community service hours, any student at Rowan that wants to be involved and any current or incoming students that may be interested in sustaining our planet. 

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