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June 23, 2024

SGA discusses the Climate and Sustainability Plan draft

By ROWAN LIU | October 14, 2023

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STEVEN SIMPSON / PHOTO EDITOR

SGA members discuss the initiatives for a new sustainability plan, a majors fair and cross-campus relations with Peabody Institute.

The Student Government Association (SGA) convened for their weekly general body meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10 to discuss the draft of the Climate Action and Sustainability Plan, the Major Fair, the Executive Liaison Program and the Cross-Campus Relations Initiative. SGA also presented and voted on various bills and confirmed a new treasurer for the Sophomore Class Programming Council. 

Climate Action and Sustainability Plan

  • Director of Sustainability Julian Goresko presented the draft of the University’s Climate Action and Sustainability Plan.
  • The plan is a holistic roadmap that lays out guidelines and principles for the University’s operational footprint across multiple campuses. “[The plan] has yielded a foundational vision to advance healthy, just and sustainable environments in our communications around the world,” Goresko said.
  • The five sections of the plan cover researching, teaching and scholarship; climate action; built and natural environment; responsible consumption as well as mobility and transportation.
  • PGA Cross Campus Liaison Jacquelyn Slade questioned how the plan would affect current construction activities on campus. Goresko affirmed that a big part of the plan has been ensuring the “high performance of healthy building requirements.”

Major Fair 

  • Junior Class President Resham Talwar proposed a Major Fair targeted toward first-year students, but also open to all students. Talwar realized that current resources on campus do not sufficiently explain academic options to freshmen. “There is a disconnect between students actually [understanding] what major and minor options they have before they declare their majors and minors,” she said.
  • The Major Fair would operate like the Student Involvement Fair, except academic departments and programs will table at the event instead of student organizations. 
  • There are plans for a pilot of the event in spring. The event proposal had a positive reception from SGA members.
  • Senator Daniel Park advised that there be separate spaces for students and faculty to discuss the majors. “Students may not feel comfortable talking negatively about the major in front of faculty,” he said. Park also suggested inviting pre-professional advising to table at the event.

Executive Liaison Program

  • Student Body President Ryan Chou discussed the Executive Liaison Program which aims to include historically underrepresented student groups in SGA communications. 
  • Examples of underrepresented groups include student staff, athletes and arts. “We’re headed [toward] establishing connections with leadership of other representative groups around campus,” Chou said.

Cross-Campus Relations Initiative 

  • Slade discussed the systemic lack of communication between Peabody Institute and Homewood Campus. 
  • Slade created a Google Forms survey for people to offer feedback on the initiative and is currently in the process of arranging an administration meeting with the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Advising Jessie Martin.

Haunted House Funding Bill

  • The Programming Council presented a bill requesting funding for an SGA-sponsored Halloween event at The Nevermore Haunt.
  • The bill passed unanimously.

Joy on Wheels Funding Bill 

  • The bill aims to increase student bonding on campus by providing recreational items and game activities near Brody Terrace.
  • Concerns about theft and redundancy of recreational items, given that Levering Hall and various academic departments also provided similar recreational activities, emerged during a moderated caucus.
  • The bill did not pass.

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