East Carolina University’s Student Government Association (SGA) met on Wednesday to discuss initiatives for the year and update members on matters which took place over the summer.

The meeting began with an introduction from Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor of Student Affairs at ECU. Hardy welcomed back SGA members and addressed actions the school has taken in response to Hurricane Dorian.

Hardy said the university decided to cancel classes after noon on Thursday and cancel all classes on Friday based on data from national weather services.

“The university makes these decisions using a lot of data, coming from the National Weather Services, coming from local stuff and trying to make the best decision that we possibly can without overreacting,” Hardy said. “And we are going to try to err on the side of safety for students and employees.”

Hardy asked the members if applications for SGA are closed, they responded by saying applications closed on Wednesday for SGA positions and interviews are going to be done as soon as possible.

The meeting continued on to officer reports. Colin Johnson, president of SGA, addressed the goals and initiatives of SGA for the upcoming school year. He said members would hear from each individual committee and their initiatives for the year during the meeting.

“We set some goals for SGA, one of those was that all of our committees will have a clear and defined purpose and initiative for this semester, another one of those goals that we’re focused on is our collective advocacy efforts on affordability for students to have access to a quality education, we’re going to be doing a lot of outreach to graduate students,” Johnson said.

Johnson told the SGA members Chancellor Staton resigned over the summer and his place has been taken for now by Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach. He informed members of Gerlach’s hiring freeze and budget reduction in effect this school year.

There will be an extensive search for a permanent chancellor, according to Johnson. He said Gerlach could potentially be included in this search, among other candidates.

The members then addressed new business. Morgan Fried, treasurer of SGA, proposed a budget bill deciding the budget for SGA for the 2019-2020 fiscal year for approval or rejection from the majority of the members.

The total amount of the budget came to $563,750, with $35,000 being devoted to Homecoming. Fried said the money allotted to homecoming is going towards recognition for SGA sponsoring the event.

“Homecoming is so that our logo is on homecoming, so everybody knows that SGA sponsored homecoming, what we sponsor is we sponsor the events throughout homecoming,” Fried said.

Fried said the money is for the homecoming committee to use, he said SGA gives the committee the money for recognition, but they have no say in what the money goes to.

Members then voted on the approval or rejection of the budget proposal. All members were in favor of the motion, with none opposed.

The meeting concluded with an ‘SGA Speaks’ session where members to discuss new SGA ideas and initiatives they would like to see implemented or start working on.

Vice President Taylor Chappell said members of SGA who are interested in being on the homecoming committee should try to pursue open positions.

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