SGA 3/9 meeting recap: Senate approved discretionary funding for Swipes for Seahawks and hear updates on new dining hall

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

At this week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting, senators approved discretionary funding for Swipes for Seahawks and heard from guest speakers about the new dining hall in addition to a handful of other items related to their agenda. 

During new business, a discretionary funding request was brought to the floor. 

Senate Bill, ‘An Act Authorizing The Appropriations of Senate Discretionary Funding for Swipes for Seahawks Promotional Material’ was unanimously approved by the senate. 

The SGA has a $500 discretionary budget that Jake Linker, student services committee chair, said has been untouched the entire year. They plan to use the money to fund promotional materials like stickers. The stickers will feature the Swipes for Seahawks logo and a QR code for students to scan and get more information about the program.   

Additionally, senators also unanimously passed the appropriations committee’s approval of Appropriations Bill 08. This bill was an operational budget request for $250 to cover the cost of nets and kits from the UNCW Spike Ball Club. 

New Dining Hall 

Megan Allred, interim associate director for One Card, marketing and communications, bookstore and licensing within auxiliary services and Sharon Boyd, associate vice chancellor of business services. gave updates on the new dining hall being built near the Bluethenthal Wildflower Preserve.

Specifically, the results from the naming survey they recently sent out. The five options were The Preserve, The Shore, The Nest, Sundew Commons and Longleaf Commons. The top two picks were The Shore and Sundew Commons. 

They also mentioned that on March 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. there will be a drop-in event for the campus community to test out furniture options for the new dining hall. The event will be in Warwick Ballroom 4.

SGA Elections

During open podium, both groups of candidates running for SGA president and vice president were each given five minutes to share their platforms. This year’s candidates are Robby Fensom (president) and Thomas Wilson (vice president).

“As you continue to follow our campaigns, we wish to take the time to highlight our statements of qualifications, accessible for your review on our Instagram,” said Fensom. “There you will see why we are the most qualified candidates to have the privilege of representing your voice and vision.”

The second pair running is Kyle Glover (president) and Linker (vice president).

“Your dedication, creativity and love for UNCW is what inspired Kyle and I to run for office,” said Linker. “It would be the greatest honor to lead this organization that has led the students of UNCW for so long. Thank you for your time tonight, and wings up.”

A grab-n-go elections event will be held on March 15 and 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m at the amphitheater on-campus. Students will be able to learn more about the voting process and grab a goodie bag with a QR code which will take them to the voting link.

Campus Police and CARES Act

During their reports, Matt Talone, president, and Sabrina Balent, vice president, provided updates from their recent meetings with administrators. 

Talone said they recently met with university police and others to discuss how their office can have better relations with the student body and campus community. Additionally, how university police can be “good stewards” of the increase of security fees they will receive. 

Talone and Balent also received updates on the CARES Act money that students will be receiving. Students can apply for that money if they are eligible through Seanet. UNC Wilmington (UNCW) will receive about $30 million and roughly half of it will go towards student aid.

According to Balent, the proposal to provide free feminine hygiene products on campus has officially been sent to all its mandates.


Fensom, chief of staff, said he is working on getting some clarifications regarding student coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations and the status of vaccines.

“I’ve reached out to administrators regarding student vaccination status and how they should report their vaccinations. Matt and I believe that a streamlined means of reporting needs to be established so the university can make more informed decisions,” said Fensom. “With that being said, I would highly encourage you to email the coronavirus UNCW email if you have been vaccinated already.”

Linker and his committee are working on a survey to get insight into how the COVID-19 testing center is running as well as the efficiency of the counseling center. 

Lyft and Panda Express 

Jack Casterella, campus services committee chair, and his committee recently met with Ken Kaiser and Scott Holzman of auxiliary services to discuss transportation issues on campus. 

Negotiations for the Lyft program on-campus, which would give students free rides to and from campus, are currently underway and Casterella said it should be live in the fall. 

Additionally, there is a temporary bus stop at the COVID-19 virus testing center at the student recreation center. This stop is part of the trolley loop. 

Lastly, Casterella met with Boyd and the manager of Panda Express to cover all the issues and student complaints.

“Jazz says she is aware of the [orange chicken] problem. She’s tasted the orange chicken and that it’s not right,” said Casterella. “Apparently they used to have two people that were making the sauce and now they’re only gonna have one making the sauce. So in theory, in the next coming weeks that will be fixed. The rice being crunchy, they recently changed how much rice they make at the beginning of the day, so now they’re making less so it’s less wasteful. 

“[About] food being cold, they also are implementing a new procedure for that which is along with the rice just making less of it so it doesn’t sit out, as long. The firecracker chicken being very hot and just not tasting like anything, they’re gonna watch out for it, they’re not aware of any issues at the moment, but they’re gonna watch out for it. The biggest thing that’s happening is the executive chef on campus, for the entire UNCW campus, will be stopping by Panda Express every morning to taste all the food before you do, so it should be right.”

Academic Affairs 

According to Wilson, academic affairs committee chair, the cross cultural program information has been passed along from Paul Townend, associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate studies to Sean Bingham, associate dean of undergraduate studies and director of Honors College. Bingham will be coordinating the faculty work group here on.

Wilson will also be meeting with the faculty senate next Tuesday related to standardized testing.

“I brought up the idea of going test optional with the provost, he suggested that any initiative like this is kind of put a pin in until after the beginning of next semester, because we are going to be test optional for the next coming students that are going to be admitted due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wilson, “And if we hold off, we will have concrete data for the entire UNC system and UNCW specifically that can better help us realize what the effects of that are and if it is a good idea moving forward.”

His committee will meet with world language and cultures faculty this week to advocate for a Spanish medical terminology elective. 

Lastly, his committee and several administrators are working to address the $15 fee for requesting a transcript and whether or not to lower or remove it altogether. Wilson hopes to have more information about that issue soon. 


Next week, Chris Harris, director of sustainability, said he will be meeting with Boyd to present the carbon neutral commuter program information. 

Additionally, the race to zero waste campaign is currently going on. People can drop off their unwanted electrical items at the UNCW recycling center. More information about what exactly can be dropped off and where can be found here

Information pertaining to previous SGA meeting minutes, legislation and how to contact your representatives can be found on their webpage.