SGA 2/23 meeting recap: BOG approves security fee increase and hear sophomore housing requirement updates

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

During this week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting, senators were given updates on housing and were informed that the UNC System board of governors approved a fee increase, alongside other items on their agenda. 


The SGA welcomed their guest speaker Peter Groenendyk, the director of housing and residence life. Groenendyk took time to give a couple of updates related to housing and then answer any questions.

“We’re currently working with the residence coordinators and staff on the residence life side of housing to develop plans to have more directed efforts for students in their first or second and then their third and fourth years,” said Groenendyk. “As part of that we’re grouping students by year. We’ll have a first year experience. We’re developing a second year experience in housing and as a division in student affairs, and then there’ll be more of a junior and senior experience that we’ll eventually work on as well.”

Groenendyk added that these efforts would be led by Christina Logan, the director of transition programs, through the new student success center which will be located in Terrapin Hall.

Many senators had questions related to the new sophomore housing requirement for next year.

“So after we addressed the need for additional first year beds which there was a shortage of, we added suites that had more privacy, the success center and the idea was to cater to students in their second year,” said Groenendyk. “And that’s why we’ve made the decision to ask students to reside in the suites for this next year if they’re a rising sophomore. But we think that this is the right direction to go in and it was really what we planned starting back in 2016. I do recognize that this is not what everybody had wanted.”

Groenendyk added that this decision will continue to be evaluated for the fall of 2022. 

Before heading out, Groenendyk answered a couple more questions related to recycling in the dorms, the cost of housing and the current availability of rooms.

More campus housing is under construction. (Kaylin Damico)

Fee Increase 

Matt Talone, the SGA’s president, shared that at their February meeting, the UNC System board of governors approved a system wide $30 increase to the security fee.

“There’s also increased discretion with what each campus can spend that money on, and the major driving force behind that part of it was trying to fund more suicide intervention and prevention programs,” said Talone “So once we get a full exhaustive list of what that fee can be used for, I’ll be sure to update you all as I can.”

Talone added that this brings the total fee increase for UNCW students to $57.


During new business, Kyle Glover, the SGA’s treasurer and chair of the appropriations committee, presented appropriations bill 07 for the senate to vote on.

The bill was a request from UNCW Seabelles for program funding for their upcoming spring concert to cover reservation costs of $3,004. The senate voted (38-0-1) to approve the committee’s recommendation to approve this bill.  

Grubhub is here to stay 

During their weekly reports, Talone shared that following recent meetings with several administrators, Grubhub will remain an option for students post COVID-19 due to its success. 

The Association of Student Governments (ASG) also met recently and Talone said they approved unused money from their budget to be used for each campus’s student emergency fund. The system wide total was $77,000 and Talone said he thinks the amount UNCW will be given will be based on the number of Pell Grant recipients at the university. 

Menstrual Product Project

Sabrina Balent, the SGA’s vice president, said that her menstrual product project is going very well and hopes to have it accomplished before the end of her term.

“It’s going to start out as a pilot program, so our goal with this program is to be very inclusive, for it to be in every bathroom in every building,” said Balent. “However, just with funding and with nervousness that it’s not going to go well from other administrators and rightfully so [it’s starting as a pilot program]. 

“For the pilot program, the dispensers will just be placed in female restrooms. Our four locations for those restrooms are in the downstairs female restroom of the Fisher University Union, the Fisher Student Center, Randall library and Watson education building. So, Matt and I are tying up all the loose ends on that.”

The UNCW columns. (Kaylin Damico)

Student complaints 

During the open podium period, Ryan Ewald, a UNC Wilmington (UNCW) senior, expressed concerns about being referred to the clock tower lounge, where several other students were talking, to conduct a professional interview. Ewald said he was turned away from the Career Center and several other locations on campus when he asked if there was a space to conduct a job interview.  

Ewald also complained about the lack of social distanced markers for the COVID-19 surveillance testing locations on-campus. He said because of this, several people were ignoring the six feet apart rule and some were not even wearing masks. 

Jon Kapell, the SGA’s faculty advisor and director for campus activities and involvement, said he would follow-up with the director of the Career Center and the COVID-19 testing locations as well as Ewald to further address his concerns. Later on in the meeting, Kapell noted that the Career Center does offer interview rooms, but they usually have to be reserved online. 

Swipes for Seahawks

Jake Linker, chair of the student services committee, said his committee is working on promotional materials and planning the next donation drive for the Swipes for Seahawks program. 

Meanwhile, Thomas Wilson, chair of the academic affairs committee, said his committee is continuing to work on the resource webpage for non-traditional students, looking into updating the requirements and categorization for general education requirements and addressing the lack of a Spanish medical terminology elective at UNCW. 

The SGA filled their final senator position. Logan Massengill was sworn in as a Cameron School of Business senator.  

Important dates to keep in mind include the SGA inauguration which will be on April 13 at 6 p.m., the next Emotionally Intelligent Leadership (EIL) workshop on March 11 and the two Bluethenthal Wildflower Preserve cleanup days on March 12 and April 23.

To view previous minutes, legislation, statues or find the weekly Zoom link you can visit the SGA’s website.