First SGI Floor Meeting of the Spring Semester

Jillian Ortiz, Assistant News Editor

The first Student Government, Inc. meeting of the spring semester on Monday, Jan. 29 covered an array of topics ranging from new innovations under the College of Professional Studies to diversity relations and upcoming events on campus.

Assistant Dean and Associate Director of Operations for the College of Professional Studies Kevin James commenced the meeting by introducing new CPS initiatives that aim to encourage student entrepreneurs.

One of these initiatives is the University’s partnership with the International Council for Small Business, through which St. John’s executes the Global Development Entrepreneurship Program. As part of the program, students have the opportunity to pitch a business venture at the International Council for Small Business World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan during the upcoming summer.

Dean Katia Passerini, Ph.D. of the College of Professional Studies also added that a scholarship opportunity will soon be available for students interested in entrepreneurship. More specifically, the scholarship will be awarded annually to two senior undergraduate students that meet the pending scholarship requirements.

SGI President Frank Obermeyer announced that $20,000 has been invested for SGI and programming boards to have card swipers in order to enter the SGI office during normal operating hours, due to numerous instances where members have been locked out.

Obermeyer noted that although it sounds like a large expense, the cost is being deducted from money that has been saved by previous negotiations with Public Safety.

Junior Senator Atem Tazi spoke of the recent Resident Assistant training that occured over winter break, during which the RA staff underwent diversity training. The training was led by Robbye Kinkade, the project director for the Responding to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (R.E.D.I.) Project.

Tazi said that SGI is in the finalization process for a diversity training for all of the student leaders and students alike in order to better promote the aspect of diversity. Kinkade is expected to visit St. John’s on April 12.

It was also announced that the Commuter Connection Committee has been revitalized on campus. The initiative began at the beginning of the year and saw success as it was represented at the Spring Activities fair yesterday.

Several upcoming events such as ISSO’s benefit formal, Chahaat, SJU Shruti’s ISSO benefit formal performance, the NAACP’s anniversary dinner and Women on Wall Street’s “Return on Gender Equity: A Fireside Chat Series” were allocated their respective funds by the Budget Committee as well.

SGI representative and e-board elections for the 2018-2019 academic year are now live and are due by midnight on Feb. 12, 2018. Campaigns are set to begin on March 5.

The meeting concluded following an announcement regarding the relocation of WEPA Printing Stations made by Alexander Cheung of the Research and Development Committee. Cheung proposed that there be one printing station per residence quad, which sparked a lengthy discussion.

A proposal to relocate the WEPA station in the lobby of Donovan Hall just outside of the gate to make it accessible to all students, along with a proposal to move the WEPA station in Hollis Hall from the first floor lounge to the lobby of the hall were finally agreed upon.