SGA Approves Efficiency Fund, Discusses Student Morale

Handout of Efficiency Poll results distributed at SGA meeting.  PHOTO BY COURTNEY GALLAGHER.

Handout of Efficiency Poll results distributed at SGA meeting. PHOTO BY COURTNEY GALLAGHER.

BY COURTNEY GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Efficiency Fund is only one issue SGA plans to bring before the board of trustees this coming week.


SGA voted Thursday night to recommend the creation of the Efficiency Fund, an increase of $15 per semester in student fees, to the board of trustees. Over 30 students were in attendance as the Senate displayed the Efficiency Fund Referendum results and discussed what other subjects SGA President Molly Dwyer should present to the board in the upcoming Student Life Report.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents voted in favor of increasing student fees in the Efficiency Fund poll. Zach Stafford, ’17, who began the discussion on the Efficiency Fund, applauded EcoHouse for working to get 47.5 percent of the student body to cast a vote. SGA is typically pleased with a 30 percent voter turnout, according to Dwyer.

“We all worked as an EcoHouse family,” EcoHouse member Ella Leslie, ’17, said after the meeting adjourned. She expressed her gratitude for the backing of the plan by SGA, adding, “With the student body support and the recommendation of SGA, I think it would be hard for the board of trustees to say no.”

“With the student body support and the recommendation of SGA, I think it would be hard for the board of trustees to say no.” –Ella Leslie, ’17, on the proposed Efficiency Fund.

However, the Efficiency Fund will not be the only topic regarding student life brought before the board of trustees. A portion of the meeting was a discussion on the issues Dwyer should address with the board. Dwyer stated her plans to go in-depth on the “apathetic attitude” of the student body. Referring to changes in the alcohol policy, the hazing policy, and the implementation of the plus-minus grading scale, Dwyer said the “weird vibe comes from a lot of changes that were dropped on us quickly.”

The issue of student morale also factored into the Efficiency Fund discussion. The results from the poll revealed that the total Westminster student body is 888 students. “The non-returning rate was really low, but that’s another discussion,” Dwyer said.

“[A] weird vibe comes from a lot of changes that were dropped on us quickly.” –SGA President Molly Dwyer

SGA also looked at the comments left by students on the poll. Spencer O’Gara ’16 pointed out that comments against the fund were negative toward the school in general and suggested SGA talk about how to address those comments in another meeting.

Tyler Haulotte ’15 who spoke on behalf of EcoHouse during the discussion said he was hopeful that the Efficiency Fund could improve the student body’s attitude. “This is one of the first opportunities for students to make a direct impact on school policies,” Haulotte said. He added that the “way to inspire hope in students and around campus is to enact something that they want.”

As well as holding the two longer discussions on the Efficiency Fund and the board of trustees, six new officers were sworn into their positions, and all five allocations of over $500 dollars brought before the Senate were approved.

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