By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
The Students’ Association wrapped up its fall semester with praise from its president, commending Congress for a number of accomplishments and expressing optimism about next semester.
Executive president Jonathan Wilkerson cited an extensive awareness campaign, the recent “budget bonanza” and extended Brown Library atrium hours for finals week as examples that SA has grown this semester.
“I’m extremely pleased and proud of what we’ve accomplished and where we moved from,” Wilkerson told Congress before calling the final meeting of the semester to order. “I’m pleased by what you guys have been able to do.”
This semester, Congress passed seven resolutions and referred two to committee, Wilkerson said, noting that SA has several projects in progress.
Among those projects are an attempt to block credit card solicitation to campus mailboxes, opening the SA office to students for faxing, adding a crosswalk on East North 16th Street in front of Gardner Hall and allowing unused meal plans to roll over.
“I don’t remember anything comprehensive being done on that while I’ve been here,” Wilkerson said.
Among the resolutions passed this semester, Congress urged the university and University Church of Christ to install better lighting on the perimeter of campus, a request the church said will be fulfilled once it receives new lights.
Congress also approved a letter urging the city to install the crosswalk, a formality that assures its completion; a resolution that set in motion the use of pictures on the myACU student directory; and accountability contracts that each member of Congress could sign to pledge a quick response to questioning students.
The semester was not without its struggles, however. As a young Congress grappled with the intricacies of the budget, the first several meetings were marred by accusations and confusion.
“I wish we could have done a better job wth communication on the budget so not so much time could have been spent on it,” Wilkerson said. “But even with working on it, Congress has learned a lot.”
A multi-meeting battle over the budget led Congress to create a temporary committee to determine what caused the confusion and what could be done better. The committee absolved the executive officers of blame for any inconsistencies and will present several suggestions to Congress next semester.
In Wednesday’s meeting, Congress approved an official seal introduced by Rep. Casey Kelley, Don H. Morris Center, that will be affixed on all passed legislation as well as official public documents.
The seal adds the words “Students’ Association Congress” between a pair of rings around the “SA” from its official logo. Kelley and executive vice president Layne Rouse worked on the design, Kelley said, while then-Optimist cartoonist Jay Barton drew the official logo about five years ago.
Congress approved the seal, an amendment signing each Congress member’s name to the bill and an amendment to the By-Laws limiting further bills to just three co-signers-all in one motion under suspended rules, 33-0 with no abstentions.
Congress also granted $967.51 to the Big Purple and $825 for the American College of Sports Medicine and Fitness. The Student Request Fund ends the semester at $1,029.49.