Written By: LaShawn Oglesby
SGA welcomed the directors of student life and human resources at its weekly Monday meeting, and discussion topics ranged from the new smoking ban to football to a Nickelodeon celebrity.
The first guest of the night was the associate director of student life, John Wright. According to Wright, student life is trying to get a new ATM on campus, one that is located near the Student Union.
Wright was also informative about an “underutilized” student service called the “Blazer Pantry,” a service for full-time students without a meal plan who are in need of food. They accept donations and remain confidential for any and all students who use the service.
Wright said student life also wants to get more students and organizations involved with tailgating. In a discussion session, senators said that there are flaws with parents weekend and that transfer students sometimes get left out of events since they weren’t always blazers.
Another student pointed out a lack of tradition at VSU, something Wright revealed himself to be passionate about.
“Every year I complain about tradition,” Wright said. “If we try to come up with tradition, it never works. Everything I ever tried to come up with, it gets blown out of the water.
“It’s you guys that need to make the tradition, not us. All we can do is provide the venue; you guys have to take control,” Wright said.
Wright also discussed the new app called “Blazerguide,” which allows students to do a number of things (to-do lists, scheduling, viewing maps and receiving announcements) to help them while at college.
Student life is also working to get more students to attend football games. One idea they have is to switch the VSU seating with the band’s. There will be more room so students won’t have to worry about limited seating.
The second guest was Denise Bogart, director of human resources, who discussed “Kick Butts Day,” happening Oct. 1. VSU’s goal for this event is to educate students in regard to the tobacco-free policy that will go into effect Oct. 1.
So far there will be no strict enforcement of the policy, such as a ticket or forcible removal off campus. It may come later, but for right now “Kick Butts Day” is about educating students and promoting health.
“We know that (smoking) is an addiction,” Bogart said. “It’s really hard to quit. It’ll take a little adjustment, it’ll be a little rough for a while, but eventually it will become the norm.”
When explaining how to address smokers on campus after the policy goes into effect, Bogart said, “Just say ‘Hey, if you want to smoke that’s fine. That’s your right, but could you just go off the property?’”
According to Bogart, human resources believes a bigger problem that will arise from the policy is that Drexel Park may be full of cigarettes. They have warned the city of Valdosta of this possibility.
SGA also discussed Kel Mitchell from Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “Kenan and Kel,” who will be visiting VSU for a meet and greet. He will be compensated for his time to the tune of $4,000.
Additionally, SGA voted whether they wanted to contribute $1,000 out of their budget to Kel Mitchell. The motion passed, with 34 senators voting yes to paying the amount and only 5 disagreeing.
At the beginning of the meeting, SGA’s new secretary, Taylor Malone, junior political science major, was sworn in by President McKinney. Shortly thereafter the new freshman senators were also sworn in.
“It’s fulfilling to finally have a full executive board,” SGA President Tyler Barker said. “It will boost SGA to run more smoothly.”