By: Mira Costello
Face to face once again, the Student Government Association met on Jan. 28 to discuss funding requests, budgeting, and committee initiatives.
Two representatives from the Student Nurses’ Association requested funds for six students to attend the National Student Nurses’ Association conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, from April 6 through April 10. According to the constituents, the conference will offer opportunities for national and international networking, professional workshops, leadership training and more. The SNA was approved to be funded up to $7755, which was the full amount requested to cover airfare, lodging, conference registration fees, transportation, food and more. Although discussion was lengthy, likely due to the size of the request, senators were generally supportive.
President Rana Hamad, despite not being able to vote on the request because of her position, said that helping fellow students participate in events like this is important. “Funding this could send a message that we support our nursing students, especially now, when they are going into a field where they are risking their lives,” she said.
The meeting also saw a visit from Kurt Matz, IUPD Chief of Police. He expressed a message of support for and availability to the SGA and students in general. In tandem with the SGA’s Safety Committee, chaired by Senator Anna Roberts, IUPD is coordinating a Safety Walk to occur Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., which will give students the opportunity to identify places on campus that may not feel safe at night and suggest improvements such as more lighting.
During executive reports, President Hamad, Vice President Kayla Isenblatter and Treasurer Christian Martinez all discussed a meeting on Jan. 27 with the Chancellor’s Budget Advisory Council. The CBAC’s primary concern is the university’s revenue shortfall, which is expected to continue for a few years; Treasurer Martinez attributed this to an “enrollment cliff” as fewer students graduate high school and attend college, causing decreases in both tuition revenue and revenue from student activities.
The council hopes to create a long-term strategic plan by the end of this academic year, which according to Treasurer Martinez will include a $1.2 million reduction in spending as well as budget-balancing for all IU campuses. President Hamad emphasized that she does not want students to panic, as they will be held as the top priority while the budget is under consideration.
“I think this is an opportunity to reimagine and reinvent what IU South Bend is,” Hamad said, approaching the situation hopefully.