SGA 1/26 meeting recap: Join SGA, CARES act 2.0 and COVID-19 updates


Lauren Wessell

The Student Government Association (SGA) meets every Tuesday from 6:30 pm to 8 pm.

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) held their first meeting of the spring 2021 semester on Jan. 26, and they jumped right back into serving and representing the UNC Wilmington (UNCW) student body. 

At the top of the meeting, two new senators were appointed to SGA. Maxwell Fogleman as a sophomore class senator and Hannah Horowitz as an at-large senator. 

Three more appointments made by Sabrina Balent, Vice President, were voted on and approved by the senate. Chris Harris as the Director of Sustainability, Nolan Byrd as President Pro-Tempore and Internal Affairs Chair and Sadie Williams as the External Affairs Chair. 

Following the five appointments, SGA’s executive board moved into their weekly reports which began with Matt Talone, President. 

Talone provided an update on the second CARES act package that the university received. UNCW received around $17 million, with about $5.3 million going towards student relief. Talone added that the group that decides how that $5.3 million is distributed will meet Feb 5 to discuss how that money will be dispersed. 

In a recent meeting between Talone, Balent and Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, the Chancellor brought up a goal of his to conduct 1,000 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests per week. Sartarelli plans on using money left over from the CARES act to make this happen since it includes buying tests and hiring people. Talone also mentioned that once the COVID-19 virus vaccine is made available to college students there will be a big push from the university for students to take it. 

Talone ended his report with a reminder that student body president elections are coming up soon and those interested in running are encouraged to reach out to him to discuss the position.

Next, Balent moved into her report where she gave an update on her progress of trying to provide free feminine hygiene products on campus. Balent said she is meeting with people across the university on Feb. 1 to discuss this further and hopes to have this accomplished before she leaves office. 

UNCW also recently signed a contract with Lyft to provide free rides to UNCW students. This will start soon after they finish figuring out logistics and contracting. In addition, Balent and Talone have been advocating for Grubhub to remain on-campus post COVID-19 pandemic and more details on that will come following discussions with Business Affairs. 

Lastly, the semi-final round of interviews for the new Vice Chancellor will start on Feb. 1, however Balent could not provide any more details then that.

Brianna Ramirez, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, mentioned in her report that the first Emotionally Intelligent Leadership (EIL) workshop, Clean Your Smudged Glasses: Strategies to Reduce Racial Bias and How it Impacts Your Relationships, will take place on Feb. 4 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Registration can be found on WaveLink

The LatinX Resource book is also still in the works and Ramirez said she hopes to have it completed soon, but she is still gathering names for it.

Peter Brucia, Senior Class President, recommended members for the SGA Elections Board and Elections Appeal Board. The motion was approved by the senate to appoint Brucia, Gabby Schmidt, Jack Quist and Molly Pettis as on-body members and Javon Quick, Melanie D’Angelo and Nick Criscitiello as off-body members with Franklin Phillips serving as the advisor for the Elections Board. 

For the Elections Appeal Board, Balent, Alfonso Cristobal-Alonzo and Ramirez were appointed as on-body members, Jeffrey Beattie and Drew Bradley as off-body members and Larry Wray as the advisor. 

Jake Linker, Student Services Committee Chair, said that through the Swipes for Seahawks program, 132 swipes were donated for the spring semester. 

Thomas Wilson, Academic Affairs Committee Chair, said that his committee is still working on putting together a cross-cultural competency program. They have reached out to various UNCW departments and many have shown interest. That interest list has been sent to Paul Townend, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Wilson hopes to schedule a meeting with him and several others in the near future. 

Wilson and Karen Metcalf, Non-Traditional Senator, are also working on providing more resources, like a website, for non-traditional students to better serve them. 

Brayden Roberge, Freshman Class President, mentioned that he is working on planning virtual and grab-and-go events for freshmen to continue to help them meet others. 

To end reports, Byrd said that Crave BBQ has been added to the Seahawks Savings link and students, faculty and staff will now be able to receive a discount there if they show their student ID. 

During new business, Brucia requested a constitutional amendment to the Title Six: Elections statute, an internal SGA document, to update outdated language, clarify items and make the format consistent with other legislation. This motion was passed with 31 yays, zero nays and one abstention.

Lastly, Kyle Glover, Treasurer, introduced a bill to the floor. Senate bill ‘An Act Authorizing the Adjusted 2020-2021 Student Government Association Budget’ allocated the remainder of the money collected from student fees ($53 per student), totaling $112,000 to several organizations across campus. 

Senate Bill by Veronica Wernicke on Scribd


This bill was passed with 33 yays, zero nays and zero abstentions.

There are also currently several open senator positions (freshmen class senator, College of Arts and Science senator, Cameron School of Business senators, Washington College of Education senators, international students senator, military affairs students senator and graduate students senator) and the applications for those can be found on WaveLink. 

You can find the link SGA’s weekly Zoom meetings on their webpage