STORY BY CORIE LYNN
With the spring semester underway, classes and student organizations have resumed.
In a recent interview, Student Government Association President Adam Schibi discussed what this new semester means for the activities of the SGA.
According to Schibi, there are a number of plans lined up for the senators, but one of the biggest events and main focuses will be the Big Event.
“The rest of the semester we’re going to be spending on the Big Event, which will be in April, doing some community service work in the Hays community and just trying to give back to everybody that supports us throughout the year,” Schibi said, “It will be really exciting to see how much input we get from the community on their involvement with that.”
For this community-wide service project, the SGA is seeking volunteers from both FHSU students and staff.
“That’s pretty much our biggest event that we’re going to be putting on this spring,” he said.
While the senators work towards the Big Event, they will take on smaller projects as well. One such project is an upcoming Landlord Fair.
“Our community Relations Director Jackie Dougherty has been working with a bunch of constituents across campus but also in the Hays area to look at different landlord issues, but then also just offering up an opportunity for students to pair up with landlords to look at some properties,” said Schibi.
Another way that the SGA will assist students is by continuing to provide free legal counseling to students during the semester as well as working on Open Educational Resources.
Though the Student Government Association will continue to work with students in ways that are similar to last semester, the organization will take on new tasks as the end of the school year approaches.
One such task is the distribution of allocations to student organizations.
According to President Schibi, the second reading of the allocations bill is scheduled for the Thursday before Spring Break.
“[T]hat’s when all the organizations come in. They hear an update about what we’ve been doing throughout the year and get the opportunity then to find out what their totals will be for appropriations dollars for the next year,” he said.
The SGA will also work on the Education Opportunity Fund. This process is similar to student appropriations but instead works with departments of the university to distribute funding for scholarships among other needs.
The coming semester will also differ from the previous one in that SGA elections will take place in April. For the new executive members, this will also mean preparing for the upcoming semesters.
“[Y]ou’ll see a transition at the end of the year of the incoming administration trying to start some work over the summer and then just a little bit of wrap-up just before the summer starts for those that are going to be graduating and then, hopefully, those that are going to be returning next year will be returning to the senate as well,” said Schibi.
According to President Schibi, in his final semester with the SGA and at FHSU, he’s looking forward to continuing to work for Open Educational Resources, or OERs.
“We’re doing a lot of work across the state but also here on campus to try to implement [OERs],” he said, “more courses to try to continue to lessen the burden on students for textbooks and other requirements, so that’s one of the biggest things I’m looking forward to.”
He, as well as other SGA members, will also work with University President Tisa Mason on the Strategic Plan.
This plan has been put together by students and faculty over the course of a few years.
“The Strategic Plan can work from five to ten years and [looks at] how the institution can go forward,” said Schibi, “We’re looking at about a plan of up to about 2025 of how the institution’s going to continue. It looks from every angle of what we’re doing well to what we can do better and what should we be doing that we aren’t doing.”
He explained that the Strategic Plan itself is made up of goals with individuals, including SGA members, put into what are called “goal groups” to oversee each one.
“There are five different goals and you assign two different students to each of the goal groups and each of them […] we strategically put those individuals into those places where we felt those students could add the most value with their experiences and input from other students,” he said.
The goals that the Strategic Plan include university growth, academic success, and facilities.
“[A]t the end of that entire process we’ll have one document that we’ll be using to implement some of the strategies we have to reach those goals by that year,” Schibi said.
While the SGA looks to help their campus through the implementation of the Strategic Plan, the organization plans on being involved on campus in a number of ways.
Because of this, students can look forward to another semester of support, from allocations to legal counseling to landlords, from the members of the Student Government Association.