SGA senate calls for additional scholarshipsBy Charles Scarborough | 01/27/2011 10:45pm
The SGA Senate proposed a resolution Thursday to dedicate the current unused balance of the SGA Scholarship Endowment-Students Giving Back to Student program to offer additional students scholarships. The resolution, authored by Senator Christian Smith and sponsored by Senator David Wilson, aims to provide scholarships for members of the UA community who have performed well academically and contributed to the Capstone community. Smith said the endowment has reached a considerable size, and as it continues to grow, it should be used effectively to offer new scholarships to those deserving.
"My resolution is recognizing not only the endowment but the current balance," Smith said. "The main thing is that the endowment has reached $15,737.35, which is from RAGE and events last year. There's more to come with future scholarship events." Smith also clarified what will qualify a student for the scholarships mentioned in his resolution. "There are other rules for consideration," Smith said. "They have to have 90 credit hours and have GPA of 3.0 or higher and have made significant contributions to the University community. It's based on merit with consideration of financial needs but it’s not necessarily needs as defined by federal guidelines.” Scholarships from the endowment will be determined by a committee that is comprised of the SGA president, the executive vice president, SGA treasurer, SGA chief of staff, SGA adviser, vice president of student affairs and associate director of financial aid. Another major focus of Thursday's Senate was the overhaul of the SGA constitution. Christian Smith also co-authored a resolution with Matt Harris to increase outreach efforts to encourage UA students to vote on the new SGA constitution. Smith said the SGA has put a great deal of effort into improving the SGA constitution and believes the changes will have a significant, positive impact. “I know for sure the SGA has worked tirelessly to make some significant changes that are going to impact the SGA for many years to come, especially in the Senate body and the executive vice president," Smith said. "I definitely feel these changes are going to help the SGA in the long run, internally and externally." Smith said the resolution was put in place to encourage students to be involved in the process and make an informed decision when participating in the voting process. "It's very important that we can educate the student body on so they can make their decision and vote," Smith said. "I definitely see very positive things coming from it. I strongly encourage students to check it out on sga.ua.edu." Human and Environmental Science Senator Chelsea Monaco said the outreach efforts will be extremely important in making UA students feel they have a say in the SGA. “I think this resolution will be a conduit to motivating students from across campus to take ownership of their influence in the SGA and feel as if they themselves are at the table,” Monaco said.
“These are significant changes, and students needs to pride themselves in being informed in regards to the actions and practices of the SGA,” she said.