By Sabrina Betterly, News Editor
Carin Holmes, Assistant News Editor
KU’s Student Government Board (SGB), like all KU organizations, has drastically changed the way they operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to SGB president Agostino D’Ancona, they operate on a hybrid model for their weekly Tuesday meetings from 5-7 p.m. Their members attend in person, socially distanced, while any student not affiliated can join the meeting via Zoom.
Students can find their zoom link for the weekly meetings on their Engage page and are asked to only attend virtually.
According to D’Ancona, some of the plans they’ve made have necessarily been postponed due to COVID-19, but they are proactive in planning programming for each wellness day this semester, as well as planning their annual Student Government Association Day, led by Student Affairs Chair Tracy Alcee.
In addition to planning meetings and events around COVID-19, another challenge that SGB is addressing during the pandemic is budgeting.
“Since the budgets for clubs [are] decided in the previous year based on expected enrollment, this is a challenge that SGB is facing,” said SGB Treasurer Garrett Hudak in an email to The Keystone. “We were unable to plan for the pandemic and are now in a budget deficit because many students are now taking classes from home and are not paying the student activity fee.”
No cuts have been made to student clubs and organizations so far. However, according to Hudak, clubs and organizations are encouraged to reduce spending for the rest of the year. He says that a reduction in spending will help reduce the deficit, which will allow them to ensure that clubs and organizations will receive full budgets next year.
While they are facing these challenges, SGB continues to look toward the future.
“Our At-Large Deans Liaison, Kamelle Copeland, is currently working with KU’s Community Liaison and Government Relations Assistant Sandy Green, and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s (PASSHE) office to help plan its Advocacy Day at KU,” said D’Ancona. “This advocacy campaign will get KU students engaged and informed about how their voices matter and how they can continue to actively advocate for KU and the State System.”
D’Ancona added that it is important for students to know that they do not have to be an elected SGB Representative to participate in SGB.
“Any student can serve on our sub-committees or dean’s liaison committees for the respective college that their major is in.” said D’Ancona. “There also are 31 other governance committees at KU that must have student representation.”
More information on how to get involved can be found on this page on the KU website. Students can also reach out to Erica Stratton in KU’s Dean of Students Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Emmy Campbell, SGB secretary (email@example.com).