SGA looks to end harassment in the FSU gym

(SGA members wrote positive messages to each other. Photo by Shanleigh Reardon.)

SGA created an ad hoc committee to address sexual harassment in the University’s gym during its weekly meeting on Feb. 20.

Senator Alex Backer was chosen to chair the committee by President Kyle Rosa.

Backer gave a presentation about the behaviors he has observed in the gym and ways he plans to address inappropriate treatment of women in the gym. His plans include hosting an informational table in the gym, inviting relevant speakers to campus and creating a survey and poster campaign about gym etiquette. Backer hopes to include Dean of Students Meg Nowak and sexual harassment and bias experts Laura Sanscartier and Jackson Katz as speakers.

During the Treasurer’s Report, Sarah Horwitz reported the reserves account is currently $855,540. Earlier this semester, senators raised concerns about the account total after Horwitz made a motion to move $117,273.23 from the reserves fund to the unallocated fund without revealing how much would be left in the account.

She added $100,000 is considered a healthy amount to keep in the unallocated fund and fund has “taken a while to build up.”

Also during the meeting, Horwitz led an activity to help remind SGA members they are important and valued student leaders.

“I want everyone to want to be here,” said Horwitz. “Hopefully, this activity will bring the support and bring the excitement back to SGA.”

Horwitz wrote the name of each SGA member on posters that were hung up around the Alumni Room. She asked members to walk around the room and write something positive on everyone’s poster. The goal of the activity was to show everyone that they are appreciated, she said.

Three clubs made funding requests during the meeting.

The Equestrian Club was allocated $1,717.50 for 30 people to attend a trail ride at Bobby’s Ranch in Westford, Massachusetts. The trip is planned for March 24.

The Marketing Club, FWRD!, was allocated $2,017.85 to hold their second annual FRAMpalooza event. The event is planned for April 24 on the North Hall lawn from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Anime Club was allocated $5,116.75 for 50 weekend passes to Anime Boston. Anime Club President Kelsey Garavanian said students must take University transportation during the first two days of the event. For the third day, students have the option of driving themselves.

Senator Stephanie Bennett asked how the club will make sure students use University transportation if students can go alone during the third day of the event.

Garavanian said students must check in as a group during the first two days and if they choose to attend on Sunday, they will not be representing FSU.

Bennett continued to question how the club will enforce this policy if students will have their passes after attending the first day of the convention. Senate Chair Mike O’Brien had to cut off Bennett’s line of questioning when the time allotted for questions ended.

The funding request was approved. Bennett was the only senator to vote against the request.

During the President’s Report, Rosa shared feedback from SILD about concerns raised during previous open forums about decreased seating in the commuter café. SILD said they were working to improve seating options in McCarthy and urged students to utilize other seating areas in Hemenway Hall and Annex.

Rosa said he also heard back from the Health Center regarding extending operating hours to the weekends. He said he was told this would not be financially viable for the Health Center, but FSUPD offers free round-trip taxi vouchers to an urgent care clinic for students who need immediate medical attention on the weekends.

During Karl Bryan’s Student Trustee Report, Bryan announced that he and Rosa had recently attended a conference of SGA presidents and student trustees at Worcester State where they learned FSU’s SGA is a model for other schools.

Bryan said the students who attended the conference discussed offering in-state tuition rates to DACA students.

Senator Kirsten Hoey gave the U-Rock Award to Backer.

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