April 2, 2020

SGA approves funds for trips, recognizes new club

Members of several Webster University clubs will travel to Oklahoma, California and Nebraska this semester thanks to funds approved by the Student Government Association (SGA). SGA approved the travel grants at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in the Sunnen Lounge.

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) received approval for $1,800 to attend a national conference in San Francisco, Calif. AES will take 12 students to the conference. It will be the club’s largest attendance yet, said Andrea Pepper, senior audio production major.

“The conference is really important; it gives students the chance to meet professionals in the field,” Pepper said. “It’s a great opportunity to learn and to network.”

The Residential Housing Association (RHA) was also represented at the meeting. Kevin Lanigan, national communication coordinator for RHA, requested more than $1,500 to attend a regional student residential housing convention at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

The conference is designed for students who live on university campuses across the nation to share ideas about how to improve campus life. Webster students first learned of the game Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) at the national convention, Lanigan said.

Webster students hope to present their ideas for campus improvement at the conference as well. Lanigan requested more than $1,100 initially. However, the number of students willing to attend increased from 10 to 14. It will be the largest number of students to attend the conference ever.

“It’s a great deal, and some of our best ideas come from this conference,” Lanigan said. “This is where we got the idea for Suicide Awareness Week.”

After approval for larger grants for AES and RHA, SGA heard from Courtney Turner, junior advertising and marketing communications major. Turner sought $300 to attend the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Region 11 Conference in Oklahoma.

The ACUI is a “nonprofit educational organization that brings together college union and student activities professionals,” according to their mission statement. Turner, who attended last year, will be a student keynote speaker at the conference this year. She will attend the conference with Director of the University Center and Student Activities John Ginsburg.

For one student club, the SGA meeting was about recognition, not money. Gaby Deimeke, freshman photography major, attended to lobby for the recognition by SGA of a club focused on American Sign Language (ASL). Recognition by SGA allows a club to receive funding for events and projects.

“I took ASL in high school as a foreign language and I wanted to continue that here,” Deimeke said. “There is only one ASL class offered at Webster and we’d like to give students a chance not only to learn ASL, but to understand deaf culture.”

Deimeke said the club does not have officers yet and “the next order of business” will be to fill those positions.  One of the club’s first events will send students into the Webster Groves community. Event participants will attempt to communicate to people in town without speaking. The exercise will help students understand the world of a deaf individual, Deimeke said.

SGA recognized the club and officially approved it for funding. The next regular SGA meeting will be at 3 p.m. on Oct. 23 in the Sunnen Lounge.

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