At their weekly meeting, the Student Government Association (SGA) discussed various updates across UNC Wilmington’s (UNCW) campus.
Matt Talone, SGA’s President, talked about how at last week’s Board of Trustees meeting they approved the site and zone plans for the library expansion project. However, they are still waiting for state funding to begin the project. Talone said they hope to have the money for this project by next school year.
In addition, Talone said they approved some new parking policies and updates.
“The relevant changes for the students are that the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor of Business Affairs have some increased flexibility when it comes to adopting temporary rules or changes that may be deemed necessary for that time,” Talone said. “Including temporary refund policies if the campus is closed, or if access is limited. So if we would have had this policy back in March, people would have gotten parking refunds more than likely. It also clarified a few policies about refunds that were already in place and outlined a prorated refund structure. So as the year goes on, the refund will get lower and lower, since you’re kind of using the parking pass throughout the year.”
Next, Sabrina Balent, SGA’s Vice President moved into her report. Balent mostly stressed the importance of students attending and voicing concerns at the upcoming Campus-Initiated Tuition Increases (CITI) and Student Fees open forums. The first forum will be on Oct. 26 at 3:30 p.m. and the second is on Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. You can find out more information by reaching out to Balent.
In Courtney Bodenheimer’s Director of Communication report, she mentioned that she is working with the Healthy Hawks committee and together they are planning a health forum for students to discuss the upcoming spring semester and share any questions and concerns.
Peter Brucia, Senior Class President, also mentioned that there is still one vacant spot for freshmen senators positions. The application can be found on SGA’s Wavelink page.
Jack Casterella, Campus Services Committee Chair, said his committee recently met with Aramark to discuss unofficially price gouging at the pod market. Casterella said he hopes to see some positive changes result from that meeting. He also said his committee is still looking into expanding the places students can use their food dollars off-campus.
Thomas Wilson, Academic Affairs Committee Chair, brought up that his committee is working to help better support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students, not only at UNCW but across all UNC System schools. Wilson said because of their illegal and non- U.S. resident status they pay out of state tuition unless state law says otherwise.
“North Carolina does not have one of those,” Wilson said. “So DACA recipients in the state of North Carolina are paying out of state tuition to go to every UNC system school as of right now. And they are also ineligible for any federal or state funding, financial aid or scholarships. The only extra help that they can receive is through private scholarships that they have to apply for and oftentimes may not be accepted for because they are not technically legal US citizens.”
Wilson and his committee are looking to bring these issues up at the upcoming CITI open forums and are looking to see what their next steps are.
According to Nolan Byrd, External Affairs Committee Chair, there is an upcoming blood drive for UNCW students on Nov. 5 in Kenan from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Byrd said students must bring their student ID’s as this event is only open to UNCW students.
Lastly, Kyle Glover, Treasure and Appropriations Committee Chair, introduced an appropriations bill.
Appropriation Bill 02 was a request for funding for a t-shirt design program from the Feminist Student Alliance. Glover’s committee motioned to deny this bill due to the request not getting submitted on time. After moving this to a vote, the SGA Senators approved to deny this bill with a vote of 22 yeses, two nos and five abstentions.
SGA holds their meetings every Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and they are open to watch via Zoom.