As the first semester of the school year unfolds, the Student Government Association has begun constructing their legacy. Led by President Cameron Keen, Vice President Roya Naghepour, and Treasurer Kal Golde, the 30th Administration is finding ways to deliver promises of their campaign platform of safety, affordability, and improved campus life.
Hitting the ground running, SGA kicked off this semester by unveiling their updated plan for night time bus transportation. Several new routes are available, replacing Night East-West and Night Family Housing with Night Route 1 and adding a night Milledge bus (Night Route 2, Black) that reverses direction at 11 p.m. to become Night Route 2, Red. As a spillover issue of the previous administration, the question over late-night UGA bus transportation and accessibility stirred minor controversy when the UGA Office of Transportation Services revealed their plan for revised routes. These routes omitted areas on Riverbend Road and South Milledge, where students had already signed their leases under the pretense of transportation coverage. However, due to student feedback and concerns, SGA worked with the Transportation Office to revisit this issue, working out a deal to provide a one-year shuttle to the area, thus quelling the crisis.
Another issue tackled by this administration was the overhaul of the Collegiate Readership Program. Previously, physical copies of the New York Times and USA Today were provided to students free of charge, but due to the cost burden and a few other factors, SGA introduced an alternative. Paper copies were nixed in favor of universal online access to the New York Times (USA Today is already free online.) This change to digital access constitutes a 33-percent cost decrease.
“We are excited that the cost has decreased, but the main reason for the switch over to digital was accessibility,” said SGA Executive Director of Communications Marli Collier. “Before, with the physical papers, anyone could go and grab one, and we felt that the majority of these people was either faculty or guests to UGA. Because it is student fee money going toward this program, we wanted to make sure that the students are the ones receiving the benefits.”
To sign up for this student service, visit www.nytimesaccess.com/uga/ and follow the directions using your UGA student email.
The Student Government Association has also been busy clearing yearly procedural hurdles, including the installation of the members of Freshman Programs and the Supreme Court. Members of Freshmen Board and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court were confirmed and sworn into office during Senate on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Members of Freshman Connect and Forum were appointed, as well.
“We are very excited about the projects we have in the works right now, and we are proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far,” Collier said. “We encourage more student feedback and input on how we can make this campus even better for students.” The Arch Conservative will remain diligent in its SGA coverage.
This piece was adapted from “SGA Watch” in the Fall of 2017 edition of The Arch Conservative in print. Grab a copy at our Tate or Main Library distribution boxes or subscribe by clicking the tab above.
—Ethan Pender is the Director of Policy Research for SGA and a regular contributor to The Arch Conservative.