At Student Government Association’s (SGA) second meeting of the year, the group discussed issues ranging from SGA initiatives to campus issues, like the renewal of food vendor contracts.
They addressed the Transparency Project, set for launch later this year, which aims at helping to link SGA more closely with the Hopkins student body.
Paige Doyle, Executive Secretary of the SGA, said that the new project would consist of monthly newsroom-style videos detailing the Executive Board’s current plans. The newscast would be released during the first week of each month in hopes of keeping students updated on important campus matters and making them more aware of SGA’s events and initiatives.
Chick-fil-A’s limited contract as a vendor at Homewood Field’s athletic events sparked widespread discussion at the meeting. The corporate vendor was contracted in the place of vendors from previous years, with whom there had been safety and sanitation concerns.
The University hired Chick-fil-A before its Chief Executive Officer Dan Cathy made controversial statements on his perception of same-sex marriage this past summer.
Senior Class Senator Em Feder-Cooper wanted to spearhead an initiative to remove the association between Hopkins and the fast-food chain.
Nothing formal was decided.
There was discussion of the future of Hopkins’ dining services. The University’s contract with Aramark, Hopkins’ official food service provider, will soon be up for renewal.
The JHU Housing and Dining Services is creating a committee in conjunction with executive and legislative members of the SGA in order to discuss the plans for Hopkins’ new contract.
“We have to put pressure on them,” Alex Schupper, Executive Vice President, said. “It’s time for Aramark to really prove if they deserve to have their contract with Hopkins renewed.”
The continuation of past projects and improvements to student-life initiatives were also on the agenda.
“After taking a look at the [University’s] happiness survey [of the student body] from last year, we’re looking to improve what’s most important to students, including safety both on- and off-campus,” Moses Song, Executive President, said.
Hopkins has made numerous changes to help improve student safety in previous years, but new changes were up for discussion.
SGA considered bringing Security Week, a five-day event targeted at increasing safety precautions in the university community, to the fall semester instead of waiting until the spring semester, in order to educate the freshmen earlier.
They also sought to continue to improve upon JHU TaxiShare, a website that allows Hopkins students to join or host a taxicab with other Hopkins students, and the Sublet Board, a website where students can post apartments or dorms that they are subletting to other students.
The installation of a frozen yogurt machine in campus dining facilities was proposed, as well as the establishment of a stand that would sell protein bars and protein shakes in the Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center and a market on campus featuring local farmers and vendors twice a month. The market would allow students to have easier access to healthy, locally sourced foods.
Further discussions included plans for an initiative to prohibit smoking at the main entrance of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library, an area that is heavily frequented by smokers, in the hopes of eventually eliminating smoking entirely from the Hopkins campus.