This is the second in a series of blogs updating students on the happenings of the Student Government Association (SGA) in their weekly (or near weekly) meetings. 

Western’s Student Government Association (SGA) was back in action after a week off last week, holding their regularly scheduled 7 p.m. meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 23.  

Here’s four things you should know: 

#1: Presidential Search

Western’s Presidential Search Committee was in action during the latter portion of last week and into the weekend with an extended series of Zoom interviews, winnowing the search to their top three candidates with one alternate. This week, AGB Search, a presidential search firm working to provide search guidance for Western, is conducting extensive background checks on the candidates’ histories. 

The top candidates will likely be announced next Monday, with delays possible depending on the speed of background checks. The candidates will come to campus the week of March 7 for a packed week of stakeholder meetings, including sessions with students. Stay tuned for information on specific dates and times. 

#2: Funding the Gunnison Country Food Pantry

During the meeting, the topic of donating additional SGA funds to the Gunnison Country Food Pantry was raised. Previously, SGA had stipulated that it would allocate $1,500 annually to the pantry, which partners with the university and Western’s Omicron Delta Kappa chapter on monthly pop-up pantry events and regular bread giveaways, held in the University Center. 

The pantry is currently in the process of moving to a larger space in town. SGA members agreed to double their donation for 2022, with the stipulation that the amount would return to $1,500 the following year. Western’s Dean of Students Gary Pierson mentioned that conversations are taking place to potentially install a mini-pantry on Western’s campus to provide students with convenient access to free food. 

#3:  Counseling Center changes coming

Western’s current contract for on-campus counseling services with the Center for Mental Health will lapse at the end of June 2022. Gunnison Valley Health (GVH) will take over services at the location and is advertising for two positions to provide counseling services at the Crystal Hall location.

Dean Pierson noted that the ramifications of the switch, including access to specific therapists, is currently unknown. He added that the changes are anticipated to be positive, noting that GVH brings additional resources for in-person counseling offerings, and that the new contract will expand upon existing university partnerships with GVH.

#4: Funding Bills:

SGA has assigned two funding bills to Senators. The first bill is for the Jam Club and will fund renting out the Coffee Lab every Thursday night (with free beverages for early comers!) for the remainder of the semester to host Open Mic Nights. The second proposed bill would fund the Campus Recreation department sending four students and two staff to a university recreation conference in Portland taking place in late March and early April. Both bills will be due March 5 and reviewed the following week. 

Stay tuned for more student governance updates!