Transition dinner provides UNA SGA officers time for reflection

After the excitement of elections calmed, the farewell and introductory speeches ended and the new officers were sworn in, the 2014-15 SGA officers reflected on their accomplishments.

The organization hosted its transition dinner April 15 in the GUC, where students and family gathered to celebrate the outgoing and incoming SGA executive council members.

Each of the five members set a goal for themselves at the beginning of the 2014 fall semester.

SGA hosted the first “Lucky Dip” event on the first day of school, Aug. 20. Legend says if a student dips his or her pencil in the fountain on the first day of school, he or she will have good grades all year. SGA officers and senators gave out free pencils to students who did not have one.

Freshman Chandon Hines said she dipped her pencil in the fountain at “The Lucky Dip” and it seemed to help her during finals last semester.

“I probably looked pretty ridiculous, but what’s the worst that can happen?” she said. “The best that can happen is you have that extra boost of confidence heading into exams or finals.”

Hines said she used the same pencil on her final exams.

“We have a great university, and we all take pride in it,” said former SGA President KeKoria Greer. “That’s what we saw with hosting ‘The Lucky Dip’ on the first day of school.”

Greer said she thinks the RSO tailgating events at Spirit Hill also boosted school spirit.

SGA also started the UNA fan base, UNAtics, this year.

“Next year, we will have someone in SGA who is really passionate about that,” she said. “I think that’s really going to help.”

Another tradition-building event was the “Ignite the Pride” homecoming bonfire on Shoal Creek, organized by former treasurer and incoming UPC Vice President Adam McCollum, she said.

Greer said UNA officials initially told SGA they were not allowed to host this event due to liability concerns.

“We marched down to our adviser’s office and sat down with McCollum and we made it happen,” she said. “A lot of students drove out there even though it was 30 minutes away.”

McCollum said he did many things to revamp the SGA budget process.

“The first thing I did when I got into office was change our purchase request process and how we go about doing it,” he said. “It’s something that I saw some inefficiency in.”

McCollum said he also changed the purchase request form and allocated money to different areas within the budget.

Most recently, he updated the SGA Financial Standards Policy.

“That was my last little piece of trying to establish and make that budget process transparent and more efficient,” he said.

Former vice president of UPC Daniel Thompson said he thinks UPC’s weekend events had a great overall turnout this year.

“Our spirit committee chairperson, Amanda Aerostatico, did a great job this year amping up tailgates and basically building up our spirit quad this year,” Thompson said. “Our movie nights are continuing to grow in numbers.”

Thompson said students seem to enjoy novelties like T-shirts and other items they receive at UPC events.

Former vice president of senate Nick Lang said he believes the relationships that he and the senators developed with students helped the Senate branch accomplish what they did this semester.

“That’s why you saw more student legislation this year such as gender-neutral restrooms and the 30 foot smoking rule enforcement,” Lang said. “Things came up this year because we went out and asked about it, no matter how controversial it was.”

Former secretary Sam Satterfield said transparency was an issue he wanted to address this year.

Satterfield said he hopes he has made SGA more transparent and served the students well during this time in office.

“I have physical copy of everything we’ve done this whole year sitting in my office,” he said. “So, if anyone at any point asks me, ‘hey when did this pass?’ I can open it up and know exactly when it happened. I think that’s been a big help. I know it’s helped me a lot.”

Greer said she thinks this council laid a solid foundation for the incoming council to stand upon.

“There are definitely some things that we wanted to do more, but some student issues came up,” Greer said. “You have to realize that what’s important is what’s at the best interest of the students right now. I think SGA has done a good job this year and pushing forward we will do an even better job.”