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SGA Wrap-Up: October 27th, 2015

Most pressing for the SGA this week: a special funding request, a candid talk with the General Manager of Bon Appetite Emmanuel and a long discussion about adjusting the percentage they pay towards hotel costs.

The Asian Student Association sought $300 to invite local food truck entrepreneur Ian So to campus for their American Heritage week. The group originally thought to request $1,000 based on the average cost of former speakers they’ve invited to Emmanuel, but Mr. So indicated he’d prefer a donation to a philanthropic cause he’s involved with in a smaller amount.

The Black Student Union, nominated by Model United Nations for the weekly Club Spotlight, gave a presentation with several members about their mission and work. “We really find community when we realize we aren’t alone in things,” said Gabby Taveras.

At a recent alumni luncheon, former members of the group networked and shared experiences post-graduation, discussing the subject of cultural competency at Emmanuel.

Robin Fortado, General Manager of Bon Appetite Emmanuel, addressed the SGA with new information about the availability of eggs throughout the remaining year. The short version? The Avian Bird Flu has decimated populations of fowl both wild and domestic, resulting in mass egg shortages. If you wait for an omelette to order at the grill Monday through Friday, expect to go hungry. Industry analysts predict the market for eggs will take at least a year to recover, according to Ms. Fortado.

Of course, if you only want the finest in life, an omelet bar is open on weekends at the grill in the main dining hall and could make its way to “breakfast at dinnertime” nights.

Are you vegan? Why? (Kidding!) When asked about increasing dining options for vegan eaters, Robin listed stations in the dining hall that feature proteins including the global and gluten free stations. “I encourage you to get creative,” she said.

“We have a lot of proteins available, but it may just not be easy to recognize them.” Ms. Fortado recommends that students ask managers in the dining hall for help with vegan or low calorie meals. “We can absolutely steer you in the right direction.”

Concerning individuals with nut allergies, Robin said that greater signage would be provided for iced coffee brewed in the Muddy River cafe, which had raised concerns that unlabeled nut ingredients in the brew could pose a major threat to some students. The coffee is treated with an artificial aroma of nut flavors and is not dangerous for those with allergies to consume.

One member of the SGA said the variety of grab-and-go items in the Atrium cafe by late night is very small. “I would ask that if you see that will you e-mail me or ask for a general manager,” said Ms. Fortado.

In response to a question about disrespect of Bon Appetite staff by the student body, Robin said in recent memory she could not recall a problem. “We’re trained to handle that in a gracious, respectful manner. I have not experienced awful behavior from the student body this year.”

Executive Director of Finance Jeff Zakrzewski provided another overview of anticipated budget and procedural changes as a new Treasurer’s Handbook is drafted, focusing on increasing the percentage students pay for hotel costs and transportation. Under the old model, students were responsible for 5 to 10% of the cost of hotel and travel; the SGA funded the remaining 90%. The Finance Committee has proposed increasing student out-of-pocket hotel and travel costs to 15%. A vote has not been made to approve the new Treasurer’s Handbook or major policy changes but is expected next week.

Class of 2016 President Anastasia Yogas said that she believed upgrading the percentage students would need to pay for travel and hotel costs would be “detrimental” because the impact on them would be too great, a position she has firmly kept throughout the semester.

A non-member of the SGA said that travel and hotel affordability could be levied by way of scholarships for students with difficulties. In response, another guest disagreed. “The idea that we should base ourselves on other schools instead of raising ourselves to a higher standard is bizarre to me,” she said. “Increasing this fee and therefore decreasing availability… Seems unfair and unwarranted…”

At least a dozen or so hands in the room went up to speak on the topic.

“I think that a 15% jump is a very large jump for student to accommodate themselves to,” said Class of 2016 Secretary MaryCatherine Dunne.

An attempted motion was made to divide the question of reducing the SGA’s coverage of hotel costs from the general approval of the Treasurer’s Handbook. Due to a time constraint, no vote was finalized.

The key to Emmanuel’s new club storage room is now available at the front desk of St. Joe’s Hall. The special funding number is currently set at $5126.81.

Posted by on October 29, 2015. Filed under SGA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.