by Myles Goldman
The student Association held its first meeting Monday night, focused on its plans for the year ahead.
Student Association President Ashwin Narla told SA Senators that the three issues he and Vice President Abby Bergren decided to focus on this year were Student Space, student wellness, and working with the External Relations Department to create an online calendar where student organizations would be able to publicize their events. Narla told Senators he would continue the work of his predecessors and work to reduce student fees.
One of Narla's major solutions to the student space issue that was heavily discussed in last year's SA election, is to work with Administrators to grant 24-hour access to more academic buildings on campus.
Other priorities of the new SA Executive Leadership team of Narla and Bergren include securing free HIV testing for students and expanding the Lerner Health and Wellness' hours.
Later in the meeting, the last two positions of Narla’s cabinet were filled when last year’s SA Presidential runner-up John Bennett was confirmed by Senators for VP of Financial Affairs and Larisa Ozeryansky was confirmed as VP of Graduate Student Affairs. Narla last spring had originally nominated candidates for both these positions and both those candidates were not confirmed.
"I took your advice and went back and found a Graduate Student," Narla sai, referring to his nomination of Ozeryansky.
With Student Organization Financial allocations happening in a few weeks, SA Finance Chair Alex Mizenko wanted all student organizations to know that with 50 additional groups asking for money this year and the amount of money raised from the student Association Fee stagnant, the SA has less money to give to organizations. He also said that based on Student Association by-laws, the SA can only give up to 85% of the money they have. Mizenko did reassure students that he intends to go right up to this cap.
"Students paid into the [Student Association] fee this year and the money therefore should be used this year," Mizenko said after the meeting.
The SA’s Student Organization Allocations meeting will be on Monday, October 1st. The next General Body SA Senate Meeting will be on Monday, September 24th.