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SGA forms new committees to tackle campus issues

Maddi O’Neill

News Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) has formed three new ad hoc committees that will soon begin meeting to tackle issues on campus.

The first committee, known as the Respect Committee, will attempt to “push more responsibility into students’ hands for their actions,” according to SGA President Josh Foerst ’15. The idea for the Respect committee began last semester after a student broke a window in Mom’s. That incident spurred the inception of the Wooster Ethic Committee, which is run through the Dean of Students’ office and is not affiliated with SGA. After taking this incident and others across campus into consideration, SGA decided to respond similarly by starting the Respect Committee.

Foerst gave the example of school-provided kitchen utensils to demonstrate the need for a Respect Committee. “When was the last time you saw a pot or pan in one of the kitchens?” he asked. “Students, whether intentionally or not, are taking these and keeping them. It’s wasting our collective resources and taking away from the overall community.” He also pointed out that the College pays to replace these utensils every year. The Respect Committee will also strive to incorporate the College’s Civility Statement and the Wooster Ethic into more aspects of campus life. Spencer Gilbert ’17 and Sunny Mitra ’16 will head the Respect committee.

The second ad hoc committee will focus on budgeting and funding processes and will be led by Taylor Knoop ’16. This committee was started to help SGA better prepare for its responsibility of allocating student group budgets.

“We believe there are still flaws in the budget allocation process and are hoping to fix them,” said Foerst. The Budget/Funding Committee will also work to fix the student group reimbursement process, which Foerst described as currently taking “an unreasonable amount of time.” Finally, the committee will work to set up a fund to provide students with travel money to attend academic conferences and present their work.

The third committee, which will be called the Campus Stewardship Committee, will tackle issues of sustainability, maintenance and grounds on campus. It will be headed by Abbey Partika ’17.

“The purpose of this committee is to be a place where students can advocate for stewardship of the campus as a whole. This incorporates maintenance of campus buildings and grounds, as well as appropriate use of programs like campus recycling and compost,” explained Kelsey Schreck ’15, vice president of SGA.

The committee, she emphasized, will not focus solely on sustainability but will include issues like the broken patio outside the Gault Library, muddy walkways and ensuring an adequate number of cigarette receptacles to limit the number of cigarette butts that end up thrown on the ground.

“This committee was really formed out of the need for SGA to monitor the implementation of projects that former ad hoc committees of SGA, namely the Water Bottle and Smoking ad-hoc committees, worked on … while still creating a place for new issues as they come up,” said Schreck.

Each committee will take a different approach toward policymaking on campus. The Respect Committee will primarily work with student groups on campus to encourage personal responsibility across campus and in the community. The Budget/Funding Committee will be self-evaluative, looking mostly at the SGA and Campus Council budget allocation processes and suggesting improvements. The Campus Stewardship Committee will work with Doug Laditka, the head of the Physical Plant, and Beau Mastrine, the head of Grounds, to implement its recommendations.

All of the ad hoc committees encourage students to participate. “We need student input,” said Foerst. “Any member of the student body can be a member of these committees.”

Anyone interested in becoming a member of one of the ad hoc committees should contact Foerst at JFoerst15@wooster.edu. The Respect Committee will meet Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. in the SGA office in the Wired Scot. The Campus Stewardship Committee will meet Sunday nights at 6:30 p.m. and the Budget/Funding Committee will meet Sundays at 8 p.m., both in the SGA office.

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