SGA swears in New Senators, funds organizations
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SGA swears in New Senators, funds organizations

SGA President Ally Feiner swore in the new SGA senators, Rachel Beare, Kathrerine Conzet, Grace DuVall, Dillon Grubb, Tabitha Hunt, Max Mickelson, Rachel Overstreet and Cole Pry.

A bill was passed to fund Students for Reproductive Rights. SFRR is a student organization dedicated to advocating for women’s choices in health matters and educating about women’s reproductive rights issues. SFRR was granted $800.

Lexi McKee-Hemenway, the president of SFRR, said because the organization was not active last year, there was no budget submitted and as a result, SFRR has been operating with no SGA funding.

“A lot of the work that we do has to do with real human rights that are being violated with the United States right now. So, obviously, in order for us to be able to actually be true avtivists, help spread the word about this and uphold our own constitution […] we have to have a budget,” Mckee-Hemenway said.

The Student Art Alliance was also granted funding. SGA Vice President, Katie Brust, spoke on behalf of SAA and secured $1,160. Brust said SAA did go through the budget process last year but missed a meeting and was not able to attend a budget hearing and did not qualify.

SGA provided emergency funding to SafeRides in the amount of $1,250 to operate for an additional two weekends.

“[SafeRides] gets their fuding through grants typically. Because of COVID last year the grant was not available,” Feiner, who introduced the bill, said.

SafeRides has grant funding starting Oct. 1, which is D-Days weekend. The bill funds SafeRides for the two weekends proceeding D-Days. SafeRides offers students transportation from downtown back to campus in an effort to cut back on drunk driving.

Aside from the SafeRides grant, Scott Pohlson, Vice President of Enrollment, spoke during the meeting. Pohlson said enrollment rates are static from last year to this year or possibly lower.

“Included in enrollment is also retention numbers so how many students are actually retained from previous year. But where we probably have the most work to do in terms of USD and enrollment is literally in our backyard, so we will probably have one of our best years in Sioux Falls,” Pohlson said.

Enrollments from Iowa and Minnesota have increased, but enrollments from Nebraska are down. Pohlson said enrollments are expected to increase next year, when the Premier Scholarship,  the State of South Dakota’s first needs based scholarship, becomes available, Pohlson said.

John Howe, Associate Dean of Students, also spoke during the meeting. Howe discussed President Gestring’s All Campus Picnic, on the MUC west lawn from 5:30 to 7:30. Howe said to encourage constituents and classmates to download the USD Safe app and USD Go app, two apps which have accessible information and resources for students.

A bill to fund the American Indian Science and Engineering Society was brought to the floor. There was no representatives from AISES and the bill was moved to next weeks agenda.