SGA considers $60k Roost renovation, votes on inauguration funding

President VanAken proposes a $1,500 budget to SGA representatives for his upcoming inauguration ceremony. (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

EC’s Student Government Association (SGA) discussed the possibility of spending $60,000 on renovating the Roost at their Sept. 22 meeting.

Daniela Barca and Katie Nejdl brought attention to a possible renovation on the lounge and gaming area of the Roost.

“We are looking to redo the entire Roost,” Nejdl said. “We are trying to open it up to more people and make it more of a hangout spot.”

These renovations would include replacing furniture, painting the entire area shades of light blue, reupholstering some of the existing furniture, adding a bar counter top, making and putting up canvas photos of EC, and adding lights and a new TV. There would also be removal of the vending machines and the couches on the main level of the Roost.

After being asked by SGA president Esther Pereira about considering student input to determine whether or not to renovate, Nejdl suggested the voting be kept to SGA.

“We’ve talked about getting input from the students to see if they like the idea, if they want something different or if they would change something,” Nejdl said. “But I think we want to keep the budget aspect in [SGA].”

SGA Vice President of Finance Jonathon Prehn said in an email interview that the Roost renovations, if they should take place, will be financially supported by the special projects fund, which is comprised of student activity fees that all students pay at the beginning of each term. Continuing his mission of getting to know the students, President Troy VanAken came to meet with SGA and discuss his inauguration.

“I want this to be a celebration of student achievement and all that you represent,” VanAken said during the meeting.

To celebrate the students, he wanted a ball to be held after the inauguration ceremony. After VanAken left there was further discussion on funding the ball and a barbecue titled “Minute to Win It” prior to the inauguration ceremony.

A budget of $5,500 was to come out of the contingency account of $17,000, said Prehn during the meeting.

Giving a total of $4,000 to the ball and $1,500 to help fund the barbecue, the budget passed with a majority vote.

Representative Victoria Clifford and Jazz Festival Representative Alison Hibschle also asked the SGA for money concerning the Jazz Festival.

“This is one of the longest running student lead festivals,” Clifford said as she addressed the SGA board.

Usually the amount asked for is $8,000, but this year Clifford and Hibschle are asking for $10,000 due to the festival adding more shows in celebration of 50 years of the Jazz Festival.

“Last year I was head of tickets so I sold the tickets to all the students and I was surprised to see there was a lot more students than just music students came. And I think because it is the 50th there will be even more students,” Hirschle added.

With the $10,000, students will be able to go to the festival for free on the days they get tickets for.

The Vice President of Student Services Simone Salter suggested to reach out to the Alumni Association because that “would be a good source of funding for donations.”

Clifford countered this with “previously [the Jazz Fest] has always been SGA funded.”

Under a time constraint, SGA President Esther Pereira cut the debate short and said the issue would be discussed further and voted on next week.

There may also be a change in which organizations will receive SGA funding. There was a motion put into place about Student Organization Representative Training (SORT) meetings becoming mandatory in order for organizations to get SGA funding.

These meetings would occur on two days of the year and provide representatives with information and training on how to function as a student organization. Two representatives from each organization are to come and receive the training on either Oct. 11 or Oct. 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

If two representatives are not present on one of the days offered, that organization will lose all SGA funding for the entire school year. Many SGA members had an issue with this condition and suggested that it may be too harsh because of scheduling conflicts. Some representatives felt there should be more opportunities to regain funding. This issue will be reassessed and voted on in the upcoming week.

SGA’s meetings are open to the public and anyone can go and hear what the student government is discussing at 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays.