[media-credit id=2121 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]On Friday, Sept. 23, the members of the Student Government Association (SGA) traveled to Camp Jewell in Colebrook, CT to hold its annual retreat, and set its agenda for the fall semester.
Class of 2018 President Austin Solimine, an international business major, set out a bold agenda for the year. The top of his list includes ensuring gender-neutral bathrooms and housing implementation.
“It’s an initiative started last year, but it was never really pushed,” Solimine said. “We want suites to be available to sophomores and up that are gender-neutral.”
Solimine also stated that SGA is working very closely with the Gender Sexuality Alliance to ensure the process has as much student input as possible. He also pointed out the need for gender-neutral bathrooms on campus.
There are currently 12 gender-neutral bathrooms across all three campuses.
Solimine expressed his desire for them to be more well-marked, as well as potentially adding a few more bathrooms around campus in more easy to access locations.
Another major point Solimine wants to push is improving campus culture, specifically addressing alcohol usage on campus.
“We want to promote safe drinking on campus and improving our culture,” Solimine said. “We see students drinking hard liquor and getting in bad situations because they are afraid to talk to RAs, public safety or other people that can help them, out of fear of getting reprimanded or losing club positions. We find that unacceptable and want to promote safe drinking.”
In synergy with his safe-drinking plan, Solimine outlined his plan to enhance the senior experience.
He laid out a plan to have senior pregame events. He detailed how seniors would be able to buy tickets to hockey or basketball games, get free food and then have an open bar throughout the game.
His final move included updating the QCard system and making it available on students’ phones.
Class of 2019 President Jack Onofrio, a political science major chose to focus his agenda on improving students’ day-to-day lives.
“We want to take all the little things that annoy people on campus,” Onofrio said. “(Because) they tick away and eventually begin to take away from the student experience.”
The first thing on his agenda is getting the school to recognize club sports. Onofrio credited representative junior Brandon Vattima for taking the lead on having the Board of Trustees officially recognize all club sports on campus.
If recognized, club sports would be funded by the school, given permission to wear Quinnipiac apparel to games and use school locker rooms and facilities. While this is a standard practice at many schools around the country, it has never been at Quinnipiac.
In accordance with Solimine’s goal of promoting safer drinking habits on campus, Onofrio proposed having a tavern built at the Rocky Top Student Center.
The goal of the tavern would be to help make Rocky Top more of a destination for students on campus. He expressed faith in being able to secure the funding and support, as the Rocky Top original blueprints did have plans for a bar.
Lastly, Onofrio hopes to work on the day-to-day annoyances everyone experiences, but are often forgotten for bigger legislation. These include fighting to get tank tops allowed in the gym, adding more chairs to the library, throwing support behind a sophomore plan to improve parking on campus and other general sustainability measures.
Class of 2020 President Christopher Montalvo, an advertising and integrated communications major, is having his class board focus on transportation and student life. Firstly, he is trying to reclaim parking for sophomores on campus. He is pushing for Hilltop Parking Lot to be open to sophomores to park on during the weekends, as well as teaming up with Public Safety to promote Whitney Lot, which is a minute shuttle ride from campus. Montalvo is also having his people work on a shuttle that will service the Bradley Airport to accommodate students with long-distance travel needs. Other legislation and work in the early stages includes revamping the lottery system for housing, getting new vending machine options, and expanding the radius of travel for the health center.
Class of 2021 President Sophia Marshall, an entry-level masters physician’s assistant major, has not yet had her agenda approved by SGA and therefore was unable to speak on these terms.