At Tuesday’s meeting, the Student Government Association introduced a new bill to allocate funding for the ongoing Patriot’s Plaza project, discussed a new university meal plan proposal and passed a bill requiring student organizations to attend campus leadership mixers.
Senator Macy Halverson and Sophia Lima, Director of Finance, introduced a bill that would allocate funding for the heavily discussed Patriot’s Plaza project. Rather than allocate a $10,000 donation, as suggested in the previous bill, the new legislation would allocate $5,000 to the project immediately. Then, depending on the state of SGA’s financial reserves, allocate either an additional $5,000 or $10,000.
“Come May 31, depending on whether SGA is above or below the reserve threshold, the Patriot’s Plaza will either receive $5,000 if it’s below that threshold or $10,000 if above that threshold,” Halverson said. “They will receive more money either way. It’s just a matter of how much.”
Halverson voted no on the original Patriot’s Plaza bill and later voted to uphold President Zubke’s veto of the bill, despite her support of the project. Halverson cited fiscal responsibility as the cause of her decisions.
“To be frank, I originally wasn’t thinking very hard about this bill,” Halverson said. “I was going with the flow and listening to everything people had to say, but in a conversation I had with Director of Finance Lima, she explained her wariness about it fiscally, which turned me off to it.”
After a conversation with Lima about the possibility of still funding the project, Halverson co-introduced the new bill.
“We wanted to make sure it was done and done right, so Director Lima and I got together to (revise the bill),” Halverson said.
The bill will be read for a second time and possibly voted on at next week’s SGA meeting.
SGA also discussed a new meal plan. The meal plan proposal would revise the costs of meal plans and their availability to students. The costs of individual meals would decrease under this plan and the Coyote 17 meal plan, the least utilized meal plan, SGA advisor John Howe said, will be completely removed.
“I think it shows the administration is responsive to what students want. They’ve taken an opportunity to re-evaluate why meal plans are priced the way they are,” SGA president Carson Zubke said. “A lot of the decisions regarding meal plans predate the people working at USD right now, so the administration wasn’t even sure what the reasoning was behind them.”
SGA also passed a bill requiring leaders of student organizations to attend at least one Campus Leader Mixer each academic year. Organizations will still be required to attend one SGA meeting per semester to report on membership, status and programming in order to retain funding.
“They’re fun events, just casual leadership sessions. We’ll have food there. We’ll have guest speakers,” Zubke said. “It’s an opportunity to hang out with friends, meet some new people and learn about events happening on campus.”