By Alyssa Sanford
Student Government’s (SG) Executive Vice President Javier Nicasio opened the Wednesday, March 2, general body meeting with an announcement about a campus climate survey.
“It’s not about the weather outside,” Nicasio said, but a survey that focuses on the “diversity and inclusiveness on campus.”
Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Kerri Thompson Tillet sent the survey to the campus community via email on Friday, Feb. 26.
“TCNJ continually strives to ensure that students are having the best college experience possible and we need your feedback to continue these efforts,” Tillet wrote in the email.
Nicasio, who served as the vice president of SG’s Equity and Diversity committee last year, said that not enough students participated in the campus climate survey last year. According to Nicasio, it was “hard for me to figure out” how students felt about diversity and inclusivity at the College.
Though the email from Tillet last month said that the survey closed on Monday, Feb. 29, Nicasio said that the survey is still open due to a low response rate and urged general body members to inform their peers and constituents to participate, as well.
Darshak Vekaria, the vice president of Academic Affairs, announced that per the general body’s decision to ask Provost Jacqueline Taylor to include funding for the 24/7 library hours during finals week in upcoming budget proposals, SG will need to seek out options for outside sponsors for the event.
According to Vekaria, Red Bull declined requests to sponsor the week-long event.
Vice President of Student Affairs Olivia White asked general body members if anyone was interested in serving as the new Spirit Squad chair. SG established the Spirit Squad in November 2015 and described it in a campus-wide email as “a new team that will work to spread school spirit and pride through a variety of avenues.”
The new chairperson would be responsible for putting together “really cool stuff” during the Spirit Week preceding Homecoming, White said.
On Monday, March 28, GA will co-sponsor a Union Latina debate in the Library Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., Parliamentarian Ken Rubin said.
According to Rubin, students will present “background research” about the Democratic presidential candidates and debate the merits and flaws of each candidate and “present ideas of what the Democratic candidates each believe in.”
The College Democrats “have not reached out to Union Latina in sponsoring the event,” Rubin said, so any students interested in participating are welcome to volunteer to speak.
Vice President of Community Relations Brittany Angiolini announced that Youth Outreach Day is taking place on Saturday, April 2, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Senior class President Emily Montagna had exciting news about Senior Week, which will last from Tuesday, May 17, to Wednesday, May 18, with ceremonies beginning on Thursday, May 19.
“It’s finalized,” she said.
On Tuesday, May 17, seniors will embark on a moonlight cruise.
“Shoutout to the sophomore class council for giving us the idea,” Montagna said, referring to the class’s successful proposal to the Student Finance Board (SFB) to hold a moonlight cruise as a sophomore class fundraiser after SFB initially zero-funded the event.
The guest speaker on Wednesday, May 18, will be Aron Ralston. Ralston was forced to cut off his own forearm while trapped after a climbing accident in Utah in 2003. His story was the subject of the 2011 film “127 Hours,” which starred James Franco.
“It’s inspirational,” Montagna said in a nod to Ralston’s ability to overcome incredible adversity.
Montagna also mentioned that there will be a field day, a toast from President R. Barbara Gitenstein and a gala at Celebrations in Bensalem, Pa., on Wednesday, May 18.
While more details are forthcoming, the packages for Senior Week are between $185 and $220, if seniors wish to stay on campus on Thursday night.
“It’s cheaper than last year,” Montagna said. “We’re happy about that.”
The sophomore class will hold their Date Auction on Wednesday, March 23, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the location is yet to be decided. The event is $2 at the door.
Class representatives explained that “a couple people from Student Government are going to be auctioned off” along with other members of the College community to go on a “date” with the highest bidder. All proceeds will go to the Class of 2018.