This was an email to Daily Helmsman staffer, Chelsea Boozer, updating her on what SGA President Tyler DeWitt has been working on over the summer. The SGA President is in constant meetings during the summer term in order to prepare for the school year. Note: Anything enclosed in brackets [ ] was added by Boozer for clarification. Otherwise, these are the words of President DeWitt.
Sent: July 12, 2011
First, as you are aware, tuition has increased by 11%. And part of that increase is the $5 activity fee (per semester) that was approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) in order to fully fund the USA Today Collegiate Readership Program. In other words, the readership program (which will be called "The Tiger Readership Program") is here to stay forever.
Also, I have been doing some preliminary research into bringing a Redbox movie/game rental kiosk on campus. The possibility of us doing this is pretty high so I'd like to have one at least in the UC by this Fall. But more on that later.
SGA also revised the SGA election laws at our constitutional convention held June 4th. The newly revised copy can be found at http://www.memphis.edu/sga under "legal documents". Speaking of our website, we changed that as well. The entire format of the SGA website has been changed and divided into the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches. Additionally, all minutes, bills, and agendas are readily accessible and have been promptly posted on our website, including the minutes from our Constitutional convention.
This Friday, Rachel [Goodwin, SGA Vice President] and I will participate in the Student Activity Fee Allocation committee where we will determine the amount of funding given to various organizations and departments that applied for funding. This includes the SGA budget which I will release upon approval from the SAF allocation committee. SGA has also been represented on the Green Fee Committee as well as the Civility campaign committee (bringing civility on campus).
One major area SGA has been working in has been athletics. Over the summer, I have set up 3 meetings (having another one tomorrow)[July 13, 2011] between SGA, our athletic director (and the athletics marketing team), [Student Activities Council] SAC, greek councils, and Blue Crew. These meetings were called in order to provide student imput as to how the athletics department can improve the overall gameday experience, primarily for football. As a result, we have set a goal to reach 5,000 students at our first home game against Mississippi State. To put this into perspective, the U of M has never reached 5,000 students at a home game which is absolutely inexcusable. So, FREE t-shirts will be given to all u of m students at the game! Also, we are working with athletics to move student tailgating to the Colliseum parking lot (right across from the student entrance to the liberty bowl) which will improve the number of students who actually go into the stadium instead of just hanging out down the street in Toby park. We are also planning pep-rallies and incentives for Greek attendance at athletic events. I will let you know final details as they are made.
Finally, SGA will be having its annual retreat August 12th-13th at For the Kingdom Camp. We will be introducing Senators to parliamentary procedure/bill writing while also learning more about the inner workings of the University of Memphis. A guest panel of administrators, faculty, and staff will be at the retreat to discuss issues affecting the U of M that SGA should be aware of. Of course, there is an open invitation for you to come and observe/take pictures/report/whatever you want to do at the retreat.
I hope I didn't write too much! I just get excited about this stuff! Anyways, I hope your summer has been great. Give me a call or email if you have any questions!
Tyler H. DeWitt
Student Government Association