SGA hosts town hall meeting


Photographs courtesy of Tamarra Newbern

Tamarra Newbern, News Reporter

The Student Government Association (SGA) held a town hall meeting for students, staff, and faculty to voice their opinions on what changes should be made to the campus.

At the meeting, the SGA addressed two key topics of the proposed green fee and East Campus lighting as they informed the crowd what they are trying to accomplish in the next year or so for students.

The meeting, held on April 7 in the LRH Great Room, was led by SGA President Josh Lawson, Internal Vice President Grace Rosado, Secretary Emily Hartney, Treasurer Austin Mehmet, Public Affairs Administration Senator Kaelen Smith, and Transfer Student Senator Nathan Hoffman.

Attendees of the meeting were introduced to the SGA representatives and provided with food, drinks, SGA bags, pens, cups, and flyers.

The first topic addressed was instituting a green fee for students of UIS. The proposed green fee would be from $1 to $8 each semester, although the first semester it will be set at $5.

The fee would lead to approximately $20,000 to $25,000 each year for the campus to put toward environmentally friendly projects.

Megan Styles, assistant professor of environmental studies, said, “The green fee will only go towards helping the UIS campus become more environmental healthy. “

Dr. Styles, along with the SGA representatives, said that new environmentally friendly additions to the UIS campus could be here within the next year.

The possible additions to the campus include: heritage gardens, electric car charging stations, and reusable containers to take food on the go.

The UIC and UIUC campuses, as well as other universities, have a green fee in effect that ranges from $5 to $50 for students.

Since the green fee is to help the UIS community adjust to environmentally friendly projects, online students would not have to pay the fee but are welcome to voluntarily do so.

The next topic revolved around how the SGA plans to bring more lights to the eastern portion of the UIS campus.

Mehmet said, “One thing we are trying to do is increase campus lights on the east side of campus. Students have complained saying they don’t feel safe and secure on their own campus.”

Mehmet and Rosado met with Dean of Students Charles Osiris and are currently moving forward to figure out potential solutions.

However, since there is no actual budget for the university, there is little they can do. Yet they believe student safety should be a priority for the university.

A solution Mehmet mentioned was to see if they could change the lights on East Campus to more luminescent lights. There will be another meeting with Osiris, Chief of Police Donald Mitchell, and other faculty to attempt to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

The end of the meeting was opened to discussion and questions followed by SGA members handing out hoodies and other trinkets.

The SGA hopes to host a town hall meeting every month. Therefore, there will be another town hall meeting in the future if students were unable to attend April’s meeting.