Budget cuts inspire SGA lobbying

In response to the recent budget cuts to New Jersey state colleges, the College’s Student Government Association (SGA) will focus much of its energy on lobbying this semester.

Olaniyi Solebo, SGA’s vice president of legal and governmental affairs and sophomore political science and economics double major, verified that his organization has received a list of legislators who se primary concern is budgeting matters. He assured students that dealing with these concerns proactively are important to the SGA, as the College’s disintegrating budget has left students and faculty, to say the least, rattled.

“We have a list of identified legislators we can lobby, the ones who deal with budget issues,” Solebo said. “We are on the ball on this, and we’re getting this going.”

He reiterated some statistics to the general body, ensuring the gravity of the situation hasn’t been forgotten as spring welcomes the organization’s more lighthearted events, such as senior week, finals fest and the SGA semi-formal.

“The tuition and grant tag lost about $10 million. EOF lost $3 million. This will add a lot of burden to middle-class and lower-middle-class families,” Solebo said. “So what does that mean? It literally changes the paradigm of what was expected for next year. I don’t think anyone I’ve talked to knew what was happening … This loss isn’t something students should take lying down.”

Despite the education cuts casting a considerable shadow over Wednesday’s meeting, SGA senators and executive board members still introduced additional proposals.

Gina Lauterio, vice president of academic affairs and junior political science major, noted that the College’s GPA calculator, available on its website, is back up and running.

“It’s great for scheduling,” Lauterio said. She also informed the general body that a survey about PAWS, the College’s student class-management service, will be sent out at some point over the next several weeks. “Now is the time we can get PAWS changed the most to reflect what students want,” Lauterio said.

Jen Hill, vice president of student services and senior women and gender studies major, apologetically noted that the student services committee was unable to attain approval for HBO programming in the Brower Student Center. However, to make up for this, Hill hopes to look into showing marathons of certain HBO shows in the building from time to time. She also had news about the College’s connectivity that had the general body abuzz.

“We’re working on getting wireless for you,” Hill said, speaking of plans the student services committee is working on to install wireless Internet throughout campus, not just in certain “hot spots” such as the library, Eickhoff Dining Hall and certain academic buildings.She encouraged students to visit the committee’s newly established Facebook fanpage, Student Services Committee of the SGA, for updates.

The Student Government Association discussed dealing with the current budget cuts to the College. (Elizabeth Yacone)