written by Anna Toth
Reporting by Philipp Coffman
The State of the Student Government Association (SGA) on Friday, Feb. 17 was an overview about what the organization has accomplished so far this year. Running a total of 17 minutes, the meeting included overview statements from their president Aeisha Kangan as well as a budgetary update from treasurer Kyle Stephens.
Kangan started the State of the SGA address by saying how much the moment meant to her.
“Preparing for the task of standing in front of the student body, fellow leaders, faculty staff and administration to address the work that has been done in the endless list of what can be done was definitely an unnerving process,” Kangan said.
The first thing addressed was the collaboration between three major organizations on campus — the Campus Activities Board (CAB), Viking Expeditions and the 1964 Society. The combined efforts, according to Kangan, raised $1,000 for hurricane relief efforts and donated items to women’s shelter locations across the country.
“In making these calculated collaborations, SGA set the tone for joining the conversation on inclusion and cementing the traditions for longevity that we all hope to see in our individual pursuits and missions,” Kangan said.
Kangan detailed how they have worked closely with CAB and faculty in the psychology department to create surveys measuring student involvement, SGA’s engagement and general improvements to the university.
While the data from those surveys is not yet been released, Kangan looks forward to being able to present future administration with bias-free data about the student body.
Next, Kangan addressed SGA initiatives. Some of these included Bystander Training at the organization’s retreats, exploring the current dining contract and eliminating food waste via sustainability efforts. These and more projects have put SGA in the media spotlight and been in contact with represenatives tied to various Ohio house bills.
“It is my hope that future generations of Viking leadership are able to capitalize each year and succeed exponentially,” Kangan said.
Kangan thanked the student government branch by branch before making way for Stephens to expand on the changes he’s made to funding student organizations, as well as where current funds stand.
“I’ve been working pretty much nonstop to get you guys the most up to date numbers,” Stephens said.
He went on to explain how SGA has allocated $118,000 to student organizations, but explained how that isn’t what’s been spent. In fact, student organizations have only spent about 25 percent of what has been allocated.
“A lot of them we funded and either [the events] didn’t happen or something went wrong,” Stephens said. “I’m working with [student orgs] to see what we can do in the future to make sure this money is spent well.”
The balance of SGA funds is approximately $180,000 and whatever goes unspent from student organizations is given back to SGA.
“We’re getting towards that home stretch,” Kangan said. “Let’s make it count, SGA.”