SGA clarifies funding language in bylaws

SGA voted to make multiple edits to the bylaws  relating to the funding of organizations during its meeting on Dec 1.

Secretary Lexi Kays proposed several edits to Article IV of the bylaws, “Funding Regulations for Campus Organizations,” which assigns organizations to different groups – from one to five – depending on their current status of operation.

Visibility requirements for all groups have been removed. “We had an issue with the word visibility being used,” said Kays. “Visibility is just an ableist term that we figured would be better off out of the bylaws.”

Kays said their original intent with the visibility requirement is already handled with the other group guidelines, eliminating the need for the original wording.

Organizations will also now be notified when their budget meeting takes place before the end of that academic year’s fall semester.

“It holds us accountable, especially the SATF [Student Activities Trust Fund] treasurer, to schedule the budget meeting and notify the Group One organizations so they’re able to come,” said Kays.

The motion passed 12 – 0 with two abstentions.

Members of the FSU Counseling Center visited SGA virtually to share the status of the Center and hold a short exercise on mindfulness.

Andrew Lipsky, director of the Counseling Center, gave a basic review of the services at the Center and how they are offered during COVID-19. 

The Center still provides multiple services, including individual counseling, urgent care support, family consultation, documentation for support, campus outreach, and posting links to resources on its website and social media.

“It’s a free service, regardless of whether someone has insurance or not,” Lipsky said. “There is no limit to how many sessions a student can have.”

He also shared advice about monitoring one’s mental health during COVID-19, including techniques for coping during a crisis.

Lipsky added the Counseling Center is open during the winter break with reduced staff.

Dennis Pardo, staff counselor at the Center, brought SGA through a presentation on mindfulness and a guided meditation exercise.

Pardo presented a picture of a dog and its owner walking, with the owner’s head clouded with thoughts and the dog’s head clear and focused.

He said to move through life in a manner similar to the dog. “Let’s take in that present moment while we have it.”

“All of us as humans go through challenges at some point,” he said. “It’s not something any of us can get away with. It’s a commonality between humans.”

After the short meditation and reflection exercise, Pardo asked SGA members for their reactions.

Senator Eryca Carrier said, “That was probably one of the better guided meditations I’ve done. I feel like that was really nice and soothing, and I think it’s nap time now.”

President Olivia Beverlie said she has performed this exercise before. “Doing this repeatedly has really helped me, especially times when I know I’m struggling and I feel overwhelmed. It’s a nice way to have a little bit of an emotional release over just being stressed.”

Lipsky said, “We certainly appreciate the SGA as a support to students with all that you do.

“We’ve never been invited to SGA to do this,” he added. “We’re really happy to connect with you.”

SGA swore in freshman John Finkle as a senator by a unanimous vote.

Beverlie said, “I think he’ll be a great fit.

“It’s really cool we’ve been able to add on freshmen to SGA. It’s not something I was expecting to be able to do,” said Beverlie. 

She praised SGA members for their work in her report. “I really appreciate you all being here and taking the time out of your hectic lives to come on Zoom and be a part of our meetings every other Tuesday,” she said.

Beverlie was happy with SGA’s performance during the pandemic this year. “I wanted to say, ‘Thank you,’ and I appreciate you all profusely,” she said.

This is the last SGA meeting of the semester, although the Student Affairs Committee will meet on Dec 8.