SGA gives gift card incentive
In an attempt to increase student turnout at its Friday senate meeting last week, Student Government Association (SGA) created an incentive system promising a $50 bookstore gift card to the senator who could bring the most students.
About 15 students, including members from SGA president Chris Joondeph’s freshman class council, attended the meeting. Myke Thompson, speaker of senate, said usually no students other than SGA members attend senate meetings.
“Senate meetings have always been open, but we never have a big turnout. We want students to be more educated and have an opportunity to see what the senators do,” said Rachel Tilghman, SGA director of public relations. “This is the first time we actively invited students to the senate meeting.”
She told senators that they would receive five points per student they brought to Friday’s senate meeting and one point per student they got to like SGA’s Facebook page.
Tilghman said she wants more students to like the Facebook page because she posts live updates to SGA’s Facebook and Twitter during senate meetings.
Thompson brought three guests, the most out of all the senators.
“They are part of my fraternity [Beta Theta Pi} and my friends so I asked them if they were interested,” Thompson said.
Dodge College senator Devon Hillard won the gift card because she got 29 students to like the SGA Facebook page.
Money for the gift card came from SGA’s $10,000 public relations budget.
SGA held town hall meetings last year to get more students involved, but it became too much effort for little student participation, Tilghman said.
Now, SGA is specifically trying to target students to come to Friday meetings.
Tilghman said she didn’t expect students to stay for the entire duration since senate meetings are scheduled for Friday afternoons.
“One to three o’clock on Friday is not an ideal time [for students to attend senate meetings] but I still want students to be aware of what’s going on,” Tilghman said.
Joondeph said instead of trying to get students to attend all senate meetings, SGA senators are trying to target students from their specific constituencies to attend Friday’s meeting.
Joondeph, Thompson and all senate committee chairs discussed specific issues they are trying to fix.
Issues discussed at the meeting included the use of declining balance accounts at off-campus dining locations and having a fall break in upcoming years.
Tilghman said there will be a follow up meeting early in the spring semester where these speakers will report on the progress or completion of these issues.
Emma Paikowsky, a freshman business major, said she attended the senate meeting because she is a part of freshman class council and wanted to learn more about what SGA does.
“It was really informative and went over issues I hardly knew about,” said Paikowsky.
Thompson said the purpose of the contest was to let students know that the senate meetings are open and encourage them to attend.
“If we continue to do this and maybe have a bigger incentive for students to come it will grow,” Thompson said.
He said incentives could include more topics of personal interest to students or even a Jamba Juice gift card.