SGA Weekly Update on Chartwells, Sustainability and Brown Bags

On Sunday, September 27, the executive board of the Student Government Association (SGA) met to continue their discussion on projects that are in progress for the academic year.

Some initiatives that executive board members are working on include making sure that the members of the SGA are certified in various areas. Sustainability Coordinator and senior Ben Campbell is working to make sure that all members are “green certified,” meaning they go through an online training to learn about sustainability and the actions that the university and the Office of Sustainability are taking to ensure that Colgate is functioning as sustainably as it can. Positive Sexuality Liaison and sophomore Collin McCarty is also trying to get members of the SGA certified through Safe Zone training. This training is one of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) initiatives, working to create a greater discussion about the experiences and perspectives of students of all genders and sexual orientations on campus.

Other initiatives discussed at the executive board meeting include trying to get a committee together to work with Chartwells Dining Services as a means of improving the dining options and food quality available to students on campus. Vice President and senior David Kim also spoke about the creation of a steering committee, which would work closely with administrators to address issues of campus climate at Colgate. While the steering committee would include a concentrated group of students, Kim emphasized the importance of making sure that the group encompassed students involved in all different areas on campus.

ITS Policy Coordinators junior Daniel Luntzel and sophomore Abe Benghiat are working to try to ensure that “Grammarly,” an online program that students had access to last academic year, can continue to be accessible to the student body. The program is a way to help students with their writing, by checking for grammar mistakes or incidences of plagiarism.

Executive Advisor and senior Charity Whyte, Diversity Affairs Coordinator and senior Madison Paulk and Kim are all working to create this year’s SGA brown bag series. The series will try to focus on increasing students’ knowledge about things that are going on around campus and aims to take into account the importance of intersectionality.

“We’re hoping the brown bag series functions as a forum in which students are able to voice their opinions on current projects that are in the works for this year and to open up the lines of transparency between various departments on campus and student life– for example, events like [the] brown bag we hosted last semester following the Campus Safety External Review,” Paulk said. “Additionally, we are tentatively planning on sponsoring but not hosting brown bags wherein other student groups can facilitate open discussion on issues pertaining to campus climate, as a means of giving students a safe space to speak honestly and openly on campus issues they are passionate about.”

The SGA weekly radio show, on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., is one way in which the SGA hopes to increase transparency and awareness of what is going on with the organization. This week on “The SGA Segment,” Parliamentarian Sydney Liggett came on the show to discuss her current position on the SGA and her past accomplishments and positions, starting with her role as a Senator her sophomore year. Kim also appeared on the show, joining Liggett in discussing initiatives like the SGA brown bags that are currently being planned for the semester.

On Tuesday, September 29, the Senate convened at its weekly  meeting to elect new members to the SGA for the governance board. Some of the positions for the governance board included positions on the Academic Affairs Board, the Committee on Athletics, the Curriculum Committee and the Committee on ALANA Affairs. Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Scott Brown also spoke at the meeting on Tuesday evening.