Student governments discuss bridging gap between campuses with joint committee
Despite an almost one and a half mile distance between the two campuses, the MCV and Monroe Park SGAs are trying to bridge the gap.
Katheryn Witt, the chief chairwoman of the Monroe Park SGA, recently introduced a proposal to create a Joint SGA Committee or a Unified SGA Assembly, which would link the Monroe Park and MCV SGAs.
This may be helpful for student organizations that operate on both campuses, like Nurses Without Borders. According to Danielle Viggiani, the current president of Nurses Without Borders, the club has had trouble dealing with the two student governments.
According to Viggiani, when Nurses Without Borders would seek SGA funding for events, they would often be passed back and forth between the two SGA groups. She said the student governments cited complications about their organization’s meeting spaces or specifics about the event they are hosting or attending and where the event would take place.
“I believe the issue is that neither SGA really knew how to classify us. I want to say that we didn’t even really have representation with the MCV SGA until recently,” Viggiani said.
She said that this semester was the first semester that Nurses Without Borders was finally able to get funding from the Monroe Park SGA, but she’s not really sure why they were able to do so.
“I’m not sure if it’s because of what I did differently, being more familiar with the (Monroe Park Campus) than my predecessors or if there was a change in policy,” Viggiani said, noting that the creation of a committee would likely help alleviate issues groups like Nurses Without Borders have had working between campuses.
“It is frustrating when an organization that does as much as we do for the community gets zero or less funding than something like The Waffle Club,” she said.
The purpose, function and structure of this new committee is still being discussed by both SGA groups. As of now, nothing has been made final or official.
Some members of the Senate proposed that representatives from each SGA in the committee should reflect the number of students in the campus they serve. This would mean that most of the representatives would be from the Monroe Park SGA. However, some members of the Monroe Park SGA senate proposed that there should be an equal number of representatives from both SGAs.
Vice Chairwoman of the Monroe Park SGA Tiffani Smith and some of the senators believed that the new committee should have some measure of power on certain matters that involve both campuses. She said it would “make decision-making on SGA business for both campuses faster and to be able to serve the students of both campuses with little to no delay.”
The Joint Committee will also serve a purpose of exchanging ideas between the two SGAs. However, Smith’s idea is to give the Joint Committee power to make decisions on the spot or in their own meetings, rather than have ideas move back and forth constantly between both SGAs before any business is solved. Smith fears that decisions that could have taken just hours or a week at most to make a proper decision might take months or a year.
Witt proposes that the new Joint Committee will have little decision-making power and will serve mostly as a way to exchange ideas between the SGAs. Only when the representatives of both SGAs have reported back to their respective groups and each has come to an agreement or compromise with the other campus’ SGA, can a decision be made. Witt warned against making the decision before weighing all options.
“I believe that we should not rush on making a decision that will involve the students of both campuses,” Witt said. “Things like that need to be discussed thoroughly with our fellow senators and associates before a decision is to be made.”