The Student Government Association (SGA) held its first general body meeting of the spring semester on Jan. 31. At the meeting, Chief of Staff for the Vice Provost of Student Affairs Lee Hawthorne presented the Office of Student Affairs’ new strategic plan. Representatives provided executive, class and committee reports along with information on supporting the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in the U.S. Supreme Court, the liaison programming bill and Meat the Future Movie Night funding bill.
Student Aspirations for Learning
Hawthorne shared Student Affairs’ new strategic plan, focusing on five key areas: collaboration, responsible leadership, curiosity, confidence and self-awareness.
- Hawthorne noted that Student Affairs “celebrates students and staff who exemplify these [key areas] during annual Aspiration Awards ceremonies.”
- Goals of the roadmap include analyzing how each key area is applied to the 23 departments that fall under Student Affairs.
- Sophomore Class Senator Jackson Morris and Junior Class Senator Mufasa Cruz Moreno expressed a need for more credited experiential learning programs for students to gain hands-on experience. “A rough curriculum would benefit experiential learning for credit,“ Morris said.
- Senior Class President JiWon Woo proposed the idea of creating an “Explore Baltimore” class for first-year students to better understand the larger community. Woo commented that “experiential learning will allow [first-year students] to leave the Hopkins bubble.”
Indian Child Welfare Act
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is national legislation currently being contested in the U.S. Supreme Court. This is a federal law that seeks to keep Native American children in the custody of their parents. SGA received a letter from the SGA president of Colorado State University defending the act.
- Moreno, Morris and Woo suggested recognizing stolen lands in future SGA events.
- A motion to support the bill and sign on the behalf of SGA passed unanimously.
- Woo recommended writing a future resolution supporting Native American and indigenous communities by including land recognitions in commencement speeches.
Liaison Program Bill
Morris introduced the Liaison Program Bill, which aims to include more SGA senators on various committees and to give them authority to begin their own independent projects.
- Morris emphasized that inter-SGA involvement is key to success. “Establishing liaisons ensures everybody on the committee, not just the chair, gets experience working directly with administrators,” he said.
Meat the Future Movie Night Funding Bill
Junior Class Senator Rachel Huang — working with the Health, Safety and Sustainability Committee — conducted a second reading of a bill that would provide the Alternative Protein Project and Sustainable Hopkins Innovative Projects with additional funding to support their alternative protein informational movie night.
- Morris made a comment about Creative Commons and ensuring the movie had rights to be played publicly.
- Woo proposed increasing funding to accommodate more viewers.
- The bill was tabled for a third reading during the next SGA meeting.
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