Recent Student Senate Meetings Bring Changes to Various Organizations

New Names Provide Opportunities But “No Functional Difference”

Bridgewater, Va. – At the Bridgewater student senate meeting on Feb. 24, the senate discussed housing, town hall meetings, bylaw amendments and changing its name. On March 9, Bridgewater College Student Government Association conducted their weekly meeting. The agenda covered proposed changes to Eagle Productions, a networking event and Bridgewater College’s annual Day of Giving.

Organization Name Changes – Feb. 24 and March 9

The first order of business during the Feb. 24 meeting was that the senators voted to change the organization’s name to the Bridgewater College Student Government Association. 

According to Student Body Vice President Erin Fitzpatrick, there is no functional difference between being the Student Senate and the Student Government Association. The name change was made to better align the group with similar organizations and to create an opportunity for future senators to form a judiciary committee that is separate from the College’s student-run honor council. 

On March 9, Eagles Productions President Jake Smith discussed changes coming to EP next year, including a name change to Campus Engagement and Activities Team. 

Beginning Fall 2020, CEAT will add new positions that are open to all students, “not just those in EP. This is to better involve students on campus and make the campus experience meaningful for all students,” said Smith.

Applications are being accepted now until March 27 and are available on Student Life’s Instagram and Facebook and on MyBC under the Eagle Productions page.

Bylaw Changes – Feb. 24

Some other changes made to the bylaws included eliminating the campus safety and wellness committee because Chief Franklin operates a committee similar to this one. 

Another addition is that a senator cannot be on disciplinary probation at any time during their term. Before changing, the bylaws stated that a senator could not be on disciplinary probation only at the time they run for office. 

The topic of town hall meetings was addressed. Town hall meetings will be held by senators as an opportunity for them to meet their constituents, so that they would be better able to understand any issues their constituents may be having. 

Each senator locality would be allotted $50 for their meeting to be used how they see fit. President of the Student Body McKenzie Melvin explained that the money could be used for providing food for the town hall meetings or to print flyers to hang up to bring awareness to the town hall meetings. 

Campus Concerns – Feb. 24

Melvin reported that the campus concerns committee discussed multiple issues at their last meeting. This included sidewalks flooding, housing issues and parking as there is not a single lot for residents of Blue Ridge Hall like there are for some of the other residence halls.

Melvin said they would connect with Chief Franklin to see if there was any data about what parking spots were being used at what times throughout different days and “seeing if there was any room for redistribution of spots based on that data for next year.”

Assistant Director of Residential Life Ricky Reiss was at the meeting to discuss and answer questions the senators had about housing. The housing concerns consisted of “senators hearing from constituents that they felt shocked because they had to rethink how they were going to get into where they wanted to live next year,” said Melvin. 

There were also concerns about seniors not being released to live off campus and with the rise of graduate programs, whether the students of those programs will live on or off campus. 

Melvin also reported that facilities will be making adjustments over spring break to help with the sidewalk flooding.

Networking Event Leads to New Ideas – March 9

Moving on to other business, Senator Grace Kellar shared the experience she had at a networking event held at Sweet Briar College. Kellar stated, “that the event was really nice and it was a great opportunity to discuss with other schools about their SGAs.”

Kellar said, “The different sessions throughout the event included diversity, sustainability goals, SGA branding and running effective meetings as well as great ideas on future advocacy projects that can be brought to Bridgewater’s campus.”