SGA passes bill to protect Mattin Center activities

By ARIELLA SHUA | March 14, 2019

The Student Government Association (SGA) voted on several new resolutions at their weekly meeting on Tuesday. Among the resolutions passed were the Fusion Food Festival Funding Bill; the One Love Funding Bill; the Wellness Week Funding Bill; and the Interim Facilities Resolution. Another bill, the Campus Idling Resolution, was discussed and then tabled for a future meeting.

Aran Chang, co-president of Korean American Student Association (KASA) presented the Fusion Food Bill. Co-run by the Multicultural Leadership Council (MLC), the bill will help sponsor the University’s first Fusion Food Festival. Chang asked SGA for $600 to help ensure the event will run as planned.

Chang hopes that event will show the blend of Asian and American cultures, expressed through food. He pointed to a number of popular Americanized foods, such as ramen and sushi, that originate from Asia. The Festival intends to highlight these types of foods. 

“We grew up with the Korean culture of our parents and our grandparents, but we’re still Americans. We grew up here,” he said. 

Over 15 cultural clubs plan on participating in the event, which will be held on April 7. The event is scheduled for Gilman Quad, with the Glass Pavilion as a rain plan backup. Chang explained that KASA will to continue to email even more clubs over the coming days. 

“We’re pretty hopeful that we’ll fill up the 15 clubs pretty easily,” he said.

SGA’s response to the Fusion Food Bill was overwhelmingly positive. Junior Class Senator Mohamed Elgendi expressed a desire for the University to run more events focused on student diversity. 

“I think this is awesome, honestly,” he said. “It’ll help us learn about our student body and learn about each other’s cultures a lot more.” 

Next, SGA unanimously passed the Interim Facilities Resolution, which was presented by Junior Class Senators Madelynn Wellons and Claire Gorman. The bill focuses on asking the University to take measures to ensure the survival of organizations that are housed in Mattin Center, in the wake of University President Ronald J. Daniels’ announcement that Mattin Center will be torn down for the new student center.

Wellons and Gorman outlined the various ways that Mattin Center’s destruction will disrupt current campus activities. Performing arts groups and Visual Arts minors currently use Mattin Center’s specialized rooms to house their activities, and are unsure where they will be moved. 

Bamboo Cafe, the only exclusively Asian food space on campus, will be displaced. There are no plans to relocate the Student Disability Services offices, which were supposed to be relocated to Mattin Center from Garland Hall.

Wellons explained that the bill aims to accomplish two tasks: to show appreciation for the University agreeing to fund a Student Center after several years of campaigning, and to address the many concerns associated with tearing down Mattin Center. 

“We basically want a guarantee from the administration that all of these places will be found homes,” she said.

Senior Class Senator Gianni Thomas agreed with the contents of the bill. However, he cautioned SGA against looking unappreciative when dealing with the administration. 

“My concern isn’t the way the bill is written,” he said. “It’s the way that we, as Student Government, are going to be speaking with administration.”

Wellons assured SGA that the bill aims to be as appreciative as possible towards the University for agreeing to fund a student center. 

Before the New Business section of the meeting, Director of Athletics and Recreation Alanna Shanahan announced that applications for a Student Center Committee are due on April 1. 

The Committee will help the University plan out the center, which is estimated to be completed in 2024. Eight students will be accepted for the Committee. Shanahan urged students to apply. 

“We want to work with you. We want to make the space great,” she said. 

Shanahan assured students that anything can be suggested at this early stage in planning. A website will be set up to show the initiative and history of the student center, and will feature a feedback tool.

Shanahan also emphasized that the Committee aims to include the views of students from across the Hopkins campuses. The student center will be on Homewood Campus, but ultimately hopes to serve all students. 

“My hope is to broadly engage students across the Hopkins community,” Shanahan said.

Towards the end of the meeting, Sophomore Class Senator Sam Mollin introduced the Campus Idling Resolution. He explained that vehicles on campus, including Hopkins Security and police vehicles, consistently idle on campus with their engines on. This burns fossil fuels and gases that lead to pollution and cause negative health effects.

The Resolution calls for an engine idling ban on vehicles on Homewood. Police vehicles will be switched to a battery alternative. If passed, it will be implemented in the Fall 2019 semester.

Some senators were concerned with Blue Jay Shuttle drivers sitting in their vans without heating or air conditioning. Junior Class Senator Pavan Patel felt that the Resolution does not have enough suggested solutions to the issue at the moment. 

“I don’t think that question has been answered to the full extent that it should,” he said.

Senior Class President Zanir Habib suggested waiting to vote until a future meeting. The motion to table the bill was passed.

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