What happens when an unstoppable force hits an unmovable object? You get last week’s SGA meeting, where the students won out in a strikingly melodramatic fashion.

OK, perhaps “melodramatic” isn’t the right word. Here’s a better one: unlikely.

The largest (and most important) feature of the meeting was the “Student Voices” section. In my opinion, this should always be the case, but I haven’t been to enough meetings to determine if last week’s meeting was the exception or the rule.

Three groups showed up to give their input during the meeting: the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Palumbo Students and a representative from the Erie Explosion dance team.

Let’s tackle what happened during these three exchanges.

SAAC: The first group to air their grievances was the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Their main issue was that the Blackout Game scheduled for Unity Week – an initiative spearheaded by SGA and set to happen Feb. 11-15 – was conflicting with the Make-A-Wish game that SAAC had been planning. The main concern was that having two games would reduce the fundraising potential of the SAAC game, because they were selling T-shirts and admission to the game. All proceeds were to go directly back to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. On the other hand, the Blackout Game (sponsored by SGA/Unity Week) would be giving out T-shirts for free.

SAAC wanted SGA to move the Blackout Game and, in exchange, wanted to help support the new Blackout Game. Different ideas were tossed around, like holding both games at once. However, the room seemed divided in two: the executive board of SGA and the rest of the students. The e-board, specifically the president, held that Unity Week had been in the planning stages for months, and SAAC should’ve gotten involved sooner rather than later. It was the opinion of the SGA e-board that SAAC had failed to follow procedure and exceptions could not be made. However, most of the SGA representatives seemed to feel that a single Unity Week event was not worth ostracizing SAAC. As one student put it, “I’m pretty sure that holding a Blackout Game isn’t as important as helping the kids [of the Make-A-Wish Foundation].” Ultimately, a motion was made to vote to include the Make-A-Wish Game as part of Unity Week, and move the Blackout Game.

What this means for you: The Blackout Game originally scheduled for Unity Week has been moved, and has been replaced by the Make-A-Wish Game. Get out and support the kids!

Erie Explosion: A student came in to ask SGA to sponsor three Gannon students on the Erie Explosion dance team at a cost of $250 for each dancer. Initially, this request led to some confusion among the representatives. Confusion turned to procedure when one student asked how much money was in the account this would be drawn from. The answer? About $45,000.

Questions were then raised about whether it was OK to vote on this immediately or if she should have to go through the proper procedure. A similarity was drawn to Luke King (current VP of academic affairs), when he had to make a presentation in order to get funding for a project. Ultimately, the request failed after being tabled twice and when one SGA representative said, “This shows a lack of initiative.”

What this means for you: If you need money from SGA, prepare a bit before asking for funding. However, don’t be afraid to ask for money! They have plenty of it to help support Gannon students!

Palumbo Students: This is the big issue. The million dollar question. The cream-filled center of the Twinkie (R.I.P.). The crosswalk issue on Eighth Street.

The students petitioned SGA to establish the crosswalk between AJ’s Way and Palumbo for reasons including safety and convenience. GU President Keith Taylor quickly retorted that this was already in progress. Here’s what happens:

  1. Students get upset that there is no crosswalk.
  2. SGA begins petition for crosswalk.
  3. SGA goes to Gannon University Administration to request the crosswalk.
  4. SGA essentially stops the petition for the crosswalk.
  5. Both Gannon University administration and SGA go to the City of Erie to request the crosswalk
  6. The City of Erie says they will look into it.

If the city says that a crosswalk is possible, then SGA will be responsible for paying for a traffic study to look into the feasibility. Questions were brought up regarding the cost of the traffic study, which no one knew. Others had questions about why petitions were stopped. We never really got an answer on – just some angry e-board fighting.

Ultimately, an SGA rep motioned to make the official position of SGA be in favor of a crosswalk on Eighth Street going from AJ’s Way to Palumbo. There was some dispute from the e-board as to whether or not such a measure would be worthwhile, but ultimately the measure passed.

What this means for you: “The position of SGA is that we as SGA want a crosswalk on Eighth Street from AJ’s Way to the Palumbo Academic Building.” – Angela Coustillac, president of SGA

There’s another SGA meeting on Feb. 7, and I’ll be there to get the scoop.