SGA to fund handicap access at health center

(Two new SGA senators were sworn in at the meeting. Photo by Jillian Poland.)

SGA members debated the practicality of installing “charging lockers” for commuter students at their meeting on Jan. 23.

President Kyle Rosa requested $2,095 on behalf of SGA for a set of eight “shoebox-sized” lockers to be installed outside the SGA office on the fourth floor of the McCarthy Center.

The lockers will be equipped with charging cables for Android phones, iPhones and various PCs. Students can input a PIN to lock the box, then use that PIN to retrieve their items.

Rosa said he got the idea for the lockers from talking to commuters. He said commuters “really don’t ask for much. They ask for parking and they ask for classes to be available and then they kind of like ask to constantly be on their phone and for somewhere to hang out.”

Some members of SGA did not believe installing charging lockers in that location would be the best way to help commuters. They suggested the location could be inconvenient and that students wouldn’t want to leave their phones behind.

Senator Curtis George said, “As a commuter, I purposely set up my schedule so I have the least amount of time on campus as possible.”

He added his phone doesn’t die in the short amount of time he’s on campus, and if the battery does run low, there are plugs available for him across campus.

“I think that it’s a great idea, but I just don’t think that, in practice, it’s the best idea,” he said.

Senator Adam Scanlon said, “I think if we’re going to advocate for commuters, we need to do it in the right way and in a way that’s efficient and beneficial to them, instead of just putting in something that they might not be interested in.”

Scanlon suggested creating a focus group regarding commuter needs on campus or providing more all-purpose commuter storage lockers like the type that are rented out each semester.

The funding request was approved with 15 SGA members for it, nine SGA members against it, and one SGA member abstaining from the vote.

Rosa requested another $5,360 on behalf of SGA to fund the installation of a “handicap accessible door opening button” at the Health Center.

Senator Mikayla Quinlan asked why this project was being funded by SGA instead of the University. “I feel like as a University, it would be a basic expectation or right” to have the button installed.

Rosa said the door is technically considered handicap accessible in terms of federal regulations. The button just makes it more accessible.

“The school only has so much money each year and currently, we took all that money for the [McCarthy door] and the CASA door. … The reason we’re funding it is so it happens now. If we want to wait a few more years, we can tell them we really want this, but I’m not sure if it’s actually going to happen,” he said.

The funding request was approved. Rosa said the door will possibly be installed over spring or summer vacation, as not to disrupt student use of the building.

Also at the meeting, Treasurer Sarah Horowitz presented a motion to move $117,273.23 from the reserves account into the unallocated account to cover projected costs for Fiscal Year 2018.

Scanlon asked how much money would be left in the reserves account if the motion passed.

Horowitz said, “We are not draining this reserves account by any amount and we’re good to go. We have nothing to worry about.”

She added, “SILD has not given me that discretion and I do not know the exact number.”

Scanlon replied, “In the real world, if you had to take money out of an account, you would probably want to know how much money is in that account before you make the transfer, regardless of how much money it is. And I think we owe it to the students to also do our due diligence and not just pass this on a regular basis.”

SGA members passed the motion.

In other news:

• The Fashion Club requested and received $15,872.43 for its annual fashion show. It also requested and received $3,950 for a bus trip to New York City on Feb. 24.

• Quinlan and Erin Dempsey were sworn in as senators for the class of 2018.

• Senator Hailey Small presented the U-Rock Award to Senator Matt O’Sullivan.