Last weekend, Student Government Association (SGA) President Carson Zubke and Vice President Hannah Booth met in Pierre, S.D. with SGA presidents and vice presidents from other regental schools in South Dakota, as well as Dr. Barron, the executive director of the Board of Regents.
One of the main talking points was the Dakota Promise Scholarship, which would be a needs-based scholarship for college students in South Dakota.
“We talked about Dakota Promise a bit, went over some stuff regarding the eligibility requirements. We’re hoping that that will make a comeback this year,” Zubke said. “South Dakota is the last state in the country who doesn’t have a needs-based scholarship for students, so if we can get that passed this year, that would be huge for South Dakota.”
While SGA met with other student government associations, they also have future plans for internal discussions. They’re planning a retreat for SGA members to get to know each other better, according to Zubke.
“This year, we’re looking to do some more team-building activities, just have some fun as a group,” Zubke said. “We always have some speakers come in and talk to us about things happening at the university, talk about teamwork, leadership, it’s a professional development opportunity for our team.”
USD President Sheila Gestring spoke at the previous retreat.
Also at the meeting, a group of students spoke and requested to get funding from SGA for a new organization on campus, called “Supporting the Legacy.” This club is meant to raise awareness for children dealing with cystic fibrosis. They requested $795 from SGA for operational costs and supplies. The club had 30 members at its first meeting and 50 on its mailing list.
SGA members asked the club representatives various questions regarding the use of the money and how it would be used to make a local impact.
“It’s just something we always want to be sure of, making sure that we’re responsible stewards of students’ money… I think [the senate] was just trying to get some clarification on what that money would be used for,” Zubke said. “We want to make sure that all the money that we give to organizations is really being used to enhance the college experience and providing value for students because the money that we’re giving to organizations is through student fees.”
Zubke said SGA is willing to help people who want to form new organizations.
“We’re always happy to work with them and set things up and help them kind of move through that process, as long as they have the minimum of five people, an advisor and a constitution, they can form a student organization.”