Previously, on SGA: Funding approvals for TDC, SPB and more

The following covers the meeting on April 20


Climate Check

First-year Senator Kai Velasquez began climate change and said students are experiencing wait times when they call Counseling Services in crisis. Adviser Jamie Thompson reminded SGA that Counseling Services’ phone line is only open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., so if they receive more concrete information about when students are calling, they can begin addressing the issue.

First-year Senator Ani Siva questioned how engineering students receive free printing and wondered if printing could be made more accessible to the rest of Trinity students. President Oliver Chapin-Eiserloh said this would be a major-by-major decision. First-year senator Harrison Tinker seconded the request for a printing price reduction or other payment options. Adviser Thompson and President Chapin-Eiserloh said Jennifer Henderson, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, should be the first point of contact to address the price barrier.

Senator Siva also received requests from students wanting vegan waffle mix in Mabee, as well as an expanded salad bar and self-service sandwich bar. Sophomore Senator Danny Nguyen mentioned many ingredients—such as cheese and croutons—are missing from the salad bar to keep it allergen-free. Junior Senator Indigo Pearson said there was a sandwich bar pre-pandemic. President Chapin-Eiserloh pointed the senators in Food Service Director Charles Robles’ direction to voice these opinions.

Senior Senator Gavin Barrera brought up that many ramps on campus aren’t clearly delineated for those who need them, and some buttons that open doors on campus aren’t functioning. President Chapin-Eiserloh said to reach out to maintenance if door mechanics are broken. Adviser Thompson recommended reaching out to Osvaldo Crespos, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, with ramp accessibility questions.

Finally Senator Tinker asked SGA about what they have been hearing regarding class registration for the fall. He mentioned that TigerPaws seems outdated and the advising office is always packed. President Chapin-Eiserloh said similar problems presented themselves in the fall, so any logistical issues appearing with advising and registration this spring should be addressed for the fall. According to him, TigerPaws was slated to be redesigned before the pandemic began, but this has yet to happen. If anyone has problems regarding academic advising, President Chapin-Eiserloh said to talk to LaPétra Bowman, Director of Academic Advising.

USO funding votes

Next, SGA turned to the remaining budget proposals for University-Sponsored Organizations (USO), starting with Trinity Diversity Connection (TDC). TDC had the largest proportional increase in their budget proposal out of any USO, so SGA looked to shave off from member gifts and event line items. The Senate approved the partial funding amount of $40,325.19.

The Student Programming Board (SPB) had an increase of around $6,000 from the previous year’s budget request because of its introduction of officer compensation. President Chapin-Eiserloh suggested cutting $6,000 from their Special Events & Traditions budget, allowing SPB to decide which events to adjust. He also reminded the Senate that groups that are partially funded may return in the fall to request additional funding if necessary. The Senate approved the partial funding amount of $172,130.

Trinity University Volunteer Action Committee (TUVAC) also had a budget increase proposed because their organization already included compensation before new USO guidelines. Vice President Nasim Salehitezangi proposed decreasing their budget for compensation by making it cover 12 weeks instead of 14 weeks of work. All other USOs are compensating officers for a 12 week timeframe. The Senate partially funded the amount of $26,370.

Trinity University Student Ambassadors was the last group addressed, and they too had an increase in their budget from last year. Senior Senator Samuel Grimsley suggested cutting $800 from their professional development line item because they would be funding multiple retreats and other things that could be counted as professional development. The Senate funded the partial amount of $28,225.

Officer reports

Senator Grimsley reminded SGA that he would be introducing a divestment resolution at next week’s meeting. Vice President Salehitezangi said there will be a Senate funding meeting next week that was announced as the last option for student organizations to receive funds.