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Biweekly Briefing 5

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GT SGA's 5th Biweekly Briefing

Text of Biweekly Briefing 5

  • THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

    GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

    350 Ferst Dr NWAtlanta, GA 30318

    (404) 894-2814

  • November 10, 2010GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

    Student Government AssociationCommunications Board

    BI-WEEKLY NEWSLETTER BYVice President of Communications, Brooke McDaniel

    Fellow Yellow Jackets, After a brief hiatus for SGA week, the biweekly briefing is back to inform you of all things SGA. Weve made it through midterms, are so close to Thanksgiving Break and better yet, only a month away from freShGAs annual all-night sporting event in the CRC, One Night Stand! See below for what were doing for you!

    Its Your Voice: External Affairs Month:Each month, as we focus on a different sector of SGA to inform you about what were doing, we hope to hear from you on issues as well. This month we are featuring the External Affairs Board, chaired by Elle Creel. Please plan to attend Open Forum at the UHR meeting on Tuesday, November 30 to share your opinions on all things involving community relations to SGA! Everyone is encouraged to attend and to speak up with anything that is on your mind! See a message from Elle below:

    Tech the Halls:Tech the Halls is a holiday philanthropy event organized through the Community Relations Taskforce of Georgia Techs Student Government Association. Our mission is to provide underprivileged children in the surrounding Atlanta community with a great holiday experience and to provide Georgia Techs students an opportunity to become involved in our surrounding communities. We will take underprivileged children shopping during the upcoming holiday season. Each child is paired with two Tech student volunteers to assist them during the day. The inaugural Tech the Halls event will take place on December 4, 2010. To become a shopping mentor for Tech the Halls, check out the Facebook page and register by November 12, 2010 at 4 PM. Contact Francis LaRossa ([email protected]) or Michael Toney ([email protected]) if you have any questions or want to know more!

    In recognition of the interconnectedness of our campus with the greater Atlanta community, this year SGA is seeking to expand opportunities for Tech students to engage in the greater Atlanta community through the Community Outreach Board.

    The Board is made up of 3 committees: the Student Lobby Board, the Community Relations Task Force and the Institute Partnerships Taskforce. The Community Relations Taskforce is working on large-scale initiatives to expand opportunities for Yellow Jackets to get involved in our surrounding communities. Francis LaRossa and Michael Toney and their team have been planning Tech the Halls, more information below. The Institute Partnerships TaskForce seeks to improve the Institutes support of Tech students participating in service activities in the Atlanta area. Justin Keating has been working on Tech Cares which seeks to encourage communication and collaboration between both student organizations and individual students in the event of a disaster, like the one in Haiti this past year. The Student Lobby Board seeks to provide opportunities for Tech students to be engaged in local, state and national politics. Kristen Greig is working on planning Georgia Tech Day at the Capitol. Look out for more details soon!

    If you are interested in joining the team and want to make an impact on our campus and on Atlanta, please contact Elle Creel, Director of External Affairs, at [email protected] or 404-625-3225.

  • One Night StandFall semester is quickly coming to an end, and that means only one thing at Georgia Tech... ONE NIGHT STAND! The Friday night before Finals Week, freShGA brings to you One Night Stand (ONS), the award-winning, action-packed, fun-filled event to take your mind off of studying for those dreaded exams. ONS is an all-night event full of all kinds of sports-related competitions and awesome free prizes organized by freShGA, a committee of SGA, at the Campus Recreation Center. The fun will start when you walk in the doors at 10 p.m. and will last all the way until 4 in the morning. Over 2,000 Georgia Tech students attended last years One Night Stand, and we hope to have even more people come this year. Therell be no better way to end your semester with a bang than at One Night Stand after all, itll be the one night where everybodys got game! Registration is now open at www.freshga.gatech.edu/ons

    Dr. Bras LunchesThe first Friday of every month, SGA is proud to host lunches with Dr. Bras, Techs new Provost. The lunches are open to students and we encourage you to join in on the conversation so he can hear what is on your mind. Novembers lunch was held in the Student Center and topics of discussion included GT1000 improvements. Look out for news about where the next lunch will be held at www.sga.gatech.edu/provost.

    Virtual CampusThe Imagine Lab in the Georgia Tech College of Architecture, in partnership with the Georgia Tech Library and Information Center, will launch a demo of an interactive, virtual environment of Georgia Techs campus in the LEC Performance Space on November 16, 4 pm to 6 pm. The launch event will give the entire Georgia Tech community an opportunity to help envision and articulate the possibilities for a virtual Georgia Tech. In the environment, users can explore a portion of campus on a computer using a mouse and keyboard, similar to other virtual worlds like Second Life. Additionally, multiple users can interact in the environment in real-time, facilitating virtual meetings among multiple parties. SGA has partnered with the Imagine Lab to explore more opportunities to expand this technology to make it useful for the Tech community and we hope to see you at the launch!

  • UHR ReaffirmationAt the October 26 meeting of the House, UHR passed a letter responding to a critical Opinions article in the Technique and a resolution reaffirming the dedication of the representatives that felt the representation was unfair. Please see the end of this briefing for the letter that appeared in the Technique on October 29, in case you missed it.

    Student Government is here to serve you, so please know that we are always willing to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at any time with concerns or questions that you may have, or if youre interested in getting involved in what were doing!

    Best wishes,Brooke [email protected] President of CommunicationsStudent Government Association

  • Response to Technique Opinions Article on the UHR

    In the October 8th edition of the Technique, an article in the opinions section made a number of suggestions regarding Student Government Associations policies and practices with regards to the allocation of the Student Activity Fee (SAF). While this letter does not attempt to invalidate some of the concerns that have been raised, it does intend to address some of the concerns about the nature of the Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR).

    Each year, the Student Government Association is entrusted with the funds from the Student Activity Fee, which amounts to nearly $5 million. At the end of the spring semester, the majority of those funds are allocated through the budget process to the Student Center, Campus Recreation Center, and over 100 student organizations. The remaining funds are allocated the following academic year through the bill process.

    This year, after the budget approval process, SGA was left with $247,038 in its Prior Year Account and $580,192 in its Capital Outlay Account. Thus although $5 million is allocated by the UHR annually, only $827,230 can be spent from August 2010 through May 2011 through the bill process. This money can go quickly, and to avoid emptying any accounts, representatives strive to be fiscally responsible.

    There is an underlying assumption that only bills requesting large sums of money are discussed at length, but it is not unusual for the House to spend 45 minutes or more on bills requesting fewer than $1,000. Regardless of the amount of funding requested in a bill, representatives strive to focus on certain pertinent factors during its consideration. These factors include the number of members in the club, the potential for the bill to improve student life or Georgia Tech, and most importantly, whether or not our constituents would agree with the allocation of an amount of the SAF for the proposed purpose.

    The Technique article voices a concern about the discussion on a bill requesting nearly $27,000inSAF funds. The House debated the bill for over 45 minutes. Many questions were asked of the organizational representatives about which line items were more crucial and time dependent. Time was given to the club to explain their request and which line items took priority. In the end, after a week of speaking to constituents and 45 minutes of discussion on the bill, a portion of the requested amount was approved in an effort to be fiscally responsible and to allocate the students money in the best way possible.

    SGA strives to help every student organization meet its mission and goals through the responsible allocation of the SAF, but organizations should be mindful of SGAs limitations and attempt to find alternative sources of revenue when possible. Submitting a bill to SGA should be an organizations last resort. Clubs should try to obtain corporate sponsorship, host fundraising events, increase membership dues, or seek out donations, especially for large events or items.

    SGA works hard to help you and your organization in any way possible, so please do not hesitate to contact your representatives with any questions or concerns that you have about any campus issue or financial request. Like all other forms of government SGA is not perfect; however what sets us apart is that we make an active ef