Bold slate reflects on fall, shares spring semester plans

<p>Student Government Association (SGA) President Connor Sanburn and Vice President Jordyn Blythe express their opinions during the SGA debate Feb. 10, 2020. Sanburn said Bold slate members will work on some platform points over winter break. <strong>John Lynch, DN</strong></p>

Student Government Association (SGA) President Connor Sanburn and Vice President Jordyn Blythe express their opinions during the SGA debate Feb. 10, 2020. Sanburn said Bold slate members will work on some platform points over winter break. John Lynch, DN

During his time as Student Government Association (SGA) president so far, Connor Sanburn said, he has realized how long the university process of approving proposals takes.

“I know we said this during elections about how we know the university is a slow-moving wheel, but we didn’t realize how slow it really was,” he said.

Sanburn said the Bold slate has made progress on its platform points in spite of the slow process, and he is proud of what slate members have accomplished this semester.

“No other slate has really had to govern through a pandemic like this before, and I’m so proud of the team and how they’ve persevered through it,” he said.

While Sanburn said he is pleased with the slate’s progress, he was hesitant to say any of Bold’s platform points were already complete.

“A lot of these [points] are ongoing and continuing, and a lot of them will take shape and take form during the beginning of next semester,” he said.

Chief administrator Gina Esposito said SGA will launch a pilot program for its free menstrual products in the Student Center during the beginning of the spring 2021 semester.

Esposito said she thinks Bold can use the menstrual hygiene dispensaries already in bathrooms and allow people to turn knobs on the machines without needing to pay a quarter for pads and tampons.

Though not in the original point, she said the slate is also working to partner with Cardinal Kitchen to supply students with boxes of menstrual products when they need them.

“At Cardinal Kitchen, there’s a lack of products to give,” Esposito said. “We know students need them, it’s just a matter of getting data to prove that students need these products to the point where they are supplied by the university.”

For spring 2021, Bold is prioritizing free menstrual products and diversity training for faculty.

When slate members established their platform points in February, they wanted to push diversity training for all faculty, but vice president Jordyn Blythe said they’ve adapted this point after realizing the university already has many training modules in place.

“We kind of switched gears on that because, in my conversations with Dr. Marsha McGriff, she expressed why mandatory bias training probably won’t happen this year,” Blythe said. “They’ve done mandatory trainings before and found that they weren’t as productive.”

Blythe said she and SGA secretary of diversity Temple Day have reached out to individual department chairs and college deans to ask how SGA can help further inclusive excellence plans and develop training modules if any departments don’t have them already.

“We don’t want professors to train for the sake of training — that’s not what this point was about,” Blythe said. “Training is in the near future for all of the departments, and our function in this role is just to help them be as effective about it as possible.”

Sanburn said he is most excited about the diversity training and menstrual products platform points, but Bold is still working on other initiatives.

Points Sanburn said he expects to be completed by the end of the spring 2021 semester are hosting an event with the Counseling Center, increasing accessibility of SafeZone training, reducing plastic bag use in dining halls and improving organizational connections with SGA. He added that Bold is working to advance Map App updates and heated bus stations, but those points might not be fully completed before Bold leaves office.

“A lot of them could look like a proposal — a lot of them could look like the finished product,” he said.

Sanburn said slate members will set individual goals for the platform points they are responsible for over winter break and discuss their progress before classes begin for the spring 2021 semester.

“We worked like dogs this semester,” he said. “I think having a brain break and coming back in the spring — we’re just going to be moving.”

Contact Grace McCormick with comments at grmccormick@bsu.edu or on Twitter @graceMc564. Contact Maya Wilkins with comments at mrwilkins@bsu.edu or on Twitter @mayawilkinss.

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