Up All Night Encourages Auburn Students During Exams

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If you were studying in RBD late Sunday night, you undoubtedly heard the midnight announcement for free doughnuts followed by a stampede of students to the newspaper room.

Each semester during finals week, SGA sponsors Up All Night.  Every night this week, SGA representatives will be handing out doughnuts, juice and scantrons at RBD and the student center.

This is just one more way that SGA seeks to serve the individual student, so come on out and enjoy a study break and snack on us!

 

Senate’s Final Meeting of the Semester

Auburn’s SGA Senate met this week, passing several bills in the final meeting of the semester.

At the beginning of the meeting, Senator Betsy Jackson sponsored a bill to allocate additional funding to IMPACT, a student volunteer organization.  The current system of recording volunteer hours is tedious and prone to human error, according to Senator Jackson.  However, “V3 Media Group has created a program…that will better serve them.  It would organize Banner IDs, volunteers’ names, and project coordinators’ information.  It makes recording hours more accurate. Everything is online so you can easily verify hours for classes.  This application will allow less time to be spent on paperwork and more time to be spent volunteering in the community,” Senator Jackson said.  The bill passed by unanimous vote.

After approving that bill, the Senate heard a request for funds for The Plainsman, Auburn’s student newspaper.  According to Senator Justin Mathews, “They have never requested money from the Activity Fund. They’ve been completely self-sufficient all these years.  This year for the first time, their budget was cut by $100,000 (from $350,000 to $250,000).” Senator Mathews went on to say that while the newspaper generally dealt well with the budget cuts, it was unable to retain an editorial advisor to guide the paper through legal issues.  The proposed bill, which was swiftly approved by the Senate, proposed to allocate sufficient funds to The Plainsmen to retain an editorial advisor.

In the final significant piece of business for the semester, the Senate passed a resolution supporting the College of Engineering’s reducing its Core Curriculum requirements by six credit hours.  All majors in the college exceed 123 required credit hours, with many surpassing 130 required credit hours.  The extra length of an engineering major is causing some students financial hardship, explained Senator Lucas Tribble, who represents the College of Engineering: “A lot of students only come to Auburn University because they can afford it… we [may] have to take an extra semester [of classes] that we were not expecting to take and may not be able to afford.  It is important.”  After protracted debate, the Senate did pass the resolution, although not without dissent.

With that, the Senate’s work as a legislative body was finished for this school year.  The Senate will next meet in August, at the beginning of the semester.

 

Senate Passes Two Bills

​In the penultimate meeting of the semester, Auburn’s SGA Senate met to consider two new bills that would impact the Auburn student body.

​First, Senator Dillon Nettles presented a bill to provide additional funding for the Organizations Board. “Fifty thousand dollars is granted to O-Board, and they have already received sixty thousand dollars in requests.  This is a request for ten thousand dollars that will really help them out and that is reallyimportant for organizations that do not have the same funding as SAP’s [Student Activity Portfolios].”  Senator Nettles went on to explain that the new funding allocation would help support campus clubs and allow them to pay for travel vouchers or fund organization events.  The bill passed unanimously.

​Later in the night, Senator Justin Matthews sponsored a bill to fund the replacement of WEGL Radio’s transmitter.  The current transmitter is reportedly at the end of its projected lifespan and is in need of replacement. Senator Matthews said, “This is student media asking for 35k for a new transmitter for WEGL Radio Station.  This is our technology. Student ActivityFunds owns the tower and transmitter that are there now.  So it’s our duty to keep…this stuff up to date.”

​Addressing concerns that WEGL radio may not be relevant, Senator Matthews brought up the high ratings the station receives.  “In ratings from just internet (which I imagine is the smaller portion), the average listening audience ranges from the low three thousands to the high six thousands.  During sporting events, the number of listeners can go to over thirty-six thousand.”

​Some senators were wary about the high price of the new transmitter. Senator John LeMaster said, “I’m concerned about cost. Because we’re not spending our money.  We’re spending student’s money.  It hasn’t been demonstrated this is actually something students want.”

​However, Senator Matthews and the bill’s supporters eventually overcame most objections to the bill.  The legislation passed by an overwhelming majority, although not unanimously – the first time major legislation has been passed this Senate term without unanimous consent.

​The final Senate meeting of this semester will be held next Monday night.

Senate Passes New Bills

​The SGA Senate met as usual Monday night to begin passing some of the first bills of the new Senate term.

​The Senate began by unanimously approving a bill allocating $7000 for the creation of a technology bank that will be available for the use of all Student Activity Portfolios (SAPs).  Senator Walker Byrd, the legislation’s sponsor, said, “SGA had a lot of technology, but a lot of SAPs did not have any technology. This new technology bank will standardize technology across all SAPs and allow all SAPs to have the  same  access to the same technology.”

​Additionally, the Senate unanimously approved a bill randomizing ballot positions for future SGA elections, legislation passed during the previous Senate term but repealed because OIT was unable to complete implementation.  Senator Savannah Silver, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, explained, “I have been excited about this bill since last year. This gives OIT the whole summer to work on where we stand [with ballot randomization].  It just levels the playing field…and makes elections as fair as possible.”

​After passing those two bills, the Senate also passed a resolution endorsing making donations to non-profit student housing tax-deductible, legislation which would reportedly affect over 250,000 students nationwide.  Whit Whittelsey, who is lobbying for the bill, told the Senate, “This is a bill trying to be passed by the US Congress. We would love to have the support of the student body at Auburn University.”

​Later, introducing a new bill, Senator Justin Matthews requested $35,000 for new transmitters for WEGL Radio.  Senator Matthews said, “Every day, the current transmitter is losing both clarity and range. The new one will be more powerful and also have the capability to upgrade to HD.”  The funding allocation will be voted upon next week.

History Professor Dr. Donna Bohanan to Present the Final Lecture

A professor known for making history come alive, one student says Dr. Bohanan teaches like she is telling a story.

“I valued the time she spent teaching my class every morning and the things I learned from her,” former student Lisa Robison says.  “She was one of my first and favorite teachers at Auburn.”

On Tuesday night, Dr. Donna Bohanan will be honored for her service and dedication to Auburn students at this year’s Final Lecture.  The Final Lecture is an opportunity for Auburn students to honor one outstanding professor for teaching excellence.

This award is unique because professors are nominated by students, and the honoree is chosen by a popular vote.  The chosen professor is asked to speak on a topic of his or her choice.

Especially if you had the opportunity to take one of Dr. Bohanan’s classes, come to this event and show your appreciation for one of Auburn’s best professors.

“Let’s use this Final Lecture as an opportunity to show Dr. Bohanan that her hard work has paid off and that she has touched the lives of students in a meaningful way,” says Patrick Michael, AVP of Academic Affairs.

The Final Lecture will take place on Tuesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. in the Foy auditorium with refreshments to follow.