Student center a top SGA priority
By: DAA’IYAH FOGLE
Oct 25, 2021
SGA President Lauren Tolbert speaks about her administration's priorities.
Claflin University student leaders are making strides to improve student inclusion and engagement amid a global pandemic.
Student Government Association President Lauren Tolbert and Student Government Association Vice President Arielle Wiggins spoke with Panther reporters on Oct. 14 about campus updates that directly impact current students.
Tolbert spoke on the referendum that will determine if a portion of students’ tuition will go toward a new student center.
“I believe it’s a fee of $150 a semester or $300 for the entire year per student,” Tolbert said. “Of course, the money that comes in will fluctuate based on enrollment, but the idea is that money is used directly to help with maintenance of the building from year to year and programming of the building.”
The establishment of the referendum comes amid students’ concerns regarding a possible increase in tuition due to the new student center.
Although the referendum only needs a two-thirds vote by the Senate to be approved, student leaders do not want to decide without including input from the student body, Tolbert said.
Currently, the referendum is being finalized and is in the drafting process. If approved, the fee will go into effect fall of 2022.
“Graduating seniors wouldn’t be affected by the fee, but they will still be voting on the referendum because this is a part of the legacy they are leaving on Claflin’s campus,” Tolbert said.
Claflin University is expected to finish construction on a new student center in 2023.
Tolbert also spoke on the new student engagement app. The goal of the app is to “collaborate across campus in ways that we really haven’t been able to do,” she said.
The new app will feature channels for students at the university to communicate, directories for access to resources like residential information and a central calendar with campus events.
Currently, SGA is working with various presidents from different campus organizations to “ensure that the app is suitable for every corner of campus and for every student,” Tolbert said.
Additionally, SGA Vice President Arielle Wiggins spoke on campus safety following a shooting on Goff Avenue that resulted in a bullet entering a student’s window.
Wiggins plans to meet with Interim Executive Director of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Melvin Williams to discuss the use of emergency call boxes across campus and using the text alert service to effectively ensure students’ safety if future incidents arise.
Overall, SGA’s goal is to foster a stronger relationship with Claflin University’s public safety department as well as Orangeburg police, Wiggins said.