By Kelsi Peace, Managing Editor
The theme of Wednesday’s Students’ Association Congress meeting was action, as president Matt Worthington and senior senator Brandon Smith levied challenges at Congress members, and Congress approved additional funding for the second student organization this semester.
Smith presented the results of the SA survey, which was sent out to some students through e-mail and also available on Facebook for students to access.
Smith highlighted overwhelming responses from students, including 89 percent support for off-campus dancing and 88 percent support for school-affiliated organizations to sponsor dances.
A change in the alcohol policy also received majority support, with 79 percent of students supporting a change that would allow students 21 years or older to consume alcohol off campus at nonschool sanctioned events. Fifty-four percent wanted to maintain a dry campus.
Smith also highlighted a response from 26 percent of students surveyed who said they knew of someone who consumed alcohol more than three times per week.
“It does concern me that it is with such high frequency,” Smith said, adding that perhaps more discussion should be held in the future.
About half of students who responded also said they found current attendance policies too rigorous or penalizing. Forty-nine percent said professors were too harsh with their policies, and 54 percent said they knew of students who had been “unfairly punished, academically, because of harsh attendance policies,” according to the survey.
“What this does is give a legitimate platform to launch some of the stuff we’ve been working on,” Smith said. “I just hope that the administration takes us seriously.”
Smith expressed frustration with distributing the survey, calling it a “longerthan needed” process, which was completed in November but not distributed until this month.
With little debate, Congress unanimously agreed to appropriate $1,680 to the National Broadcast Society for airline tickets to the organization’s national conference in Anaheim, Calif. The money will fund seven $240 plane tickets.
Organization president Karie Schmidt, junior broadcast journalism major from Blue Ridge, and treasurer Daley Anderson, senior electronic media major from Cross Plains, told Congress the convention benefits the group because of networking, portfolio and award opportunities.
“We are setting a great example for ACU when we meet these professionals,” Schmidt said.
She also told Congress the group lost its sponsor last year, and displacement from last semester’s Don Morris Center renovations prevented accessing the TV studio to participate in Freshman Follies and Sing Song like it usually does to raise money. Last year, 25 students attended the convention, Schmidt said.
“Giving them this money could help revive their numbers,” sophomore senator David Vanderpool said, calling the organization an “influential group on campus” for its studio access.
Worthington charged Congress members to bring five people to next Wednesday’s meeting, where administrators will field questions about recent developments at the university. Students’ Association meetings are open to all students and begin at 5 p.m. in Hart Auditorium in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building.
Congress also unanimously appointed Grace Lozano, freshman psychology major from San Antonio, to the Chambers representative position.