Organizations receive SGA representatives

Student organizations could have a new friend when it comes to working with the Student Government Association: members of the House of Student Representatives.

House members now have different organizations that they “represent” or work with, SGA Vice President of External Affairs Graham McMillan said.

The role of House members would be to support and to inform the leaders of the student organizations, he said. He would also like for the representative to connect to the presidents of the different organizations.

One of the purposes of the new partnership was to help organizations understand how the new Activities Funding Board could help them get funding, McMillan said.

“We want every organization to know that AFB is there and that it’s willing to hear their appeals so they can get funding for their organization,” he said.

House members approved a bill Feb. 15 that changed the SGA finance guidelines and how the AFB worked. One of the changes was that AFB members would meet once a year to allocate $70,000 to student organizations.

Zach Madel, a College of Science and Engineering representative, said it was important for organizations to know and to understand the new AFB guidelines. The representatives could help clear up any ambiguity leaders of these organizations might face when it came to the new AFB rules.

President of the Ultimate Frisbee Club Michael Matthis said he liked the idea because he could talk to a specific person about funding.

“Instead of emailing an organization or just a general email, we’re talking to an actual person who we know is there for us individually,” he said. “They’re there for us, and they’re there to help us out.”

The Ultimate Frisbee Club received money from SGA before, and Matthis said he planned to continue to ask for funding so the club could go to tournaments.

McMillan said he did not think enough organizations knew they could apply for funding and said he expected applications to increase after the leaders of student organizations learn more about the new AFB changes.

Another purpose of the partnership was to help connect SGA to the students, he said.

“We want them to understand that we are here on the personal basis to really serve them if they need any support,” McMillan said. “We just wanted to be more connected to the student body.”

The House members would only work with student organizations, he said. McMillan assigned the organizations among the constituencies of different academic colleges whom the representatives serve. The organizations then were assigned to members randomly.

Every House member would have at least one organization, and some would even represent multiple organizations, he said. They also would be encouraged to attend one of their organization’s meetings during the semester, McMillan said.

Madel, who represents four student organizations, said the new role with the student organizations would increase his responsibility as a representative.

“It really adds an extra element of representation and responsibility to what every representative does,” he said.