The Student Government Association (SGA) held its weekly meeting on March 15 to discuss freshman senator confirmation, the recent guest speaker event with Jamie Young, the sophomore garden party formal and the three-year organization recognition plan proposed by the Committee of Student Organizations (CSO).
Freshman Senator Confirmation
Freshman Iris Gupta was unanimously appointed as a freshman class senator.
- Gupta explained that she ran because she believes it’s important that students should have the opportunity to communicate with interests and concerns to University administration.
Speaker Event Report
Freshman Class President Chou provided a recap of the speaker event with Jamie Young.
- Chou explained that Young shared his experience as a first-generation student. He noted that there was good attendance and engagement, although he noted that it should have been advertised earlier and recorded.
Sophomore Garden Party Event
Sophomore Class President Kobi Khong recounted the details of the sophomore formal on March 11.
- Khong noted that 370 people registered and 350 attended.
- He explained that there are a few things they could have done differently. “We did not plan it as early as we would have liked. We were cutting things pretty close to the last minute with admin approval and budget requests,” he said.
- Freshman Class Senator Jackson Morris motioned for a five-minute caucus with moderated speaking times. He invited sophomore SGA members to share what they learned during the process of planning the event.
- Sophomore Class Senator Jenny Chen discussed how it was important to delegate tasks and communicate in the planning process. She noted how there were moments of miscommunication, stating that “we just got really confused and should have had a lot more conversations earlier on.”
- Sophomore Class Senator Shalala Leny expressed how she wished sophomore council had leeway for deciding the time and location.
- Sophomore Class Senator Raj Bhatt added how working with vendors would be difficult, stating that “if you do want to work with vendors, make it clear you want to pay after.”
- Khong stated that an important lesson that they learned was not to make plans dependent on assumptions. “We had to change our event six days before,” he said.
- Chen added that it is important to “understand what you have to do to make sure that your event is registered.” She explained how they had sent invitations with the registration date, but students were unable to register because the event hadn’t been approved.
Senior Class President Nathan Mudrak and Senior Class Senator Grace Wang proposed a three-year organization recognition plan.
- Mudrak explained how the proposed new guidelines, such as fundraising requirements, would affect student organizations and should be clearly communicated to student groups before budget requests.
- He noted how organizations should consistently be using Hopkins Groups as it serves as a reference for fundraising requests and semesterly allocations, stating that “we know that there are places things are slipping through the cracks; we want to see engagements at events to see if [student organizations] are using our money in a responsible way.”
- Wang explained how finance would begin to assess event funding for student groups and unbiased metrics. She emphasized that they "want to make sure organizations are running smoothly to make sure they’re not using resources that others can be using.”
- Senior Class Senator Veda Chanda presented an idea regarding the structure of the Student Activities Commission (SAC). He proposed creating a council, similar to the Interfraternity Council (IFC), for interorganizational concerns.
- Executive Vice President Breanna Soldatelli expressed noted that “implicit bias and conflict of interest” is a potential issue for students from specific clubs involved in something like SAC. She explained how members of some clubs may use that as an opportunity to better the student groups they are a part of.
- Junior Class Senator Obi Onyinanya stated that “pulling members from organizations would be helpful.” Similar to Onyinanya, Freshman Class Senator Dalhart Dobbs III expressed support in involving students from student organizations to better understand concerns and requests.