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Senate focuses on student outreach

Charles Scarborough

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The Student Government Association Senate voted Thursday to create the Before Bama e-mail program to streamline students’ ability to get involved in student organizations that match their interests.

The resolution, authored by SGA senator Ryan Flamerich, will allow demographic information provided by students when they apply to the University to be used to create personalized mass mails about campus groups and programs.

“Before Bama is an opportunity for us to engage students before they step foot on campus,” SGA Executive Vice President Nicole Bohannon said.

“Through this program, student organizations can reach out to potential new members, and incoming freshmen can reach out to those organizations, too. It’s a personalized, virtual Get on Board Day.”

The resolution was tabled in April because the Student Affairs Committee was unsure of the scope of the project. Flamerich said it was his fault for poorly communicating with the committee prior to that vote.

Another focus of the senate session was discussing the newly created Meet Your Senator Day. SGA senators will visit classrooms of the colleges they represent at the beginning of the fall semester to make their presence known to the students they represent.

The SGA will also host general college forums throughout the fall semester for senators to address student concerns about their respective colleges.

More than 100 student organizations will also be assigned an SGA senator in order to bridge gaps that may have existed between student organizations and the SGA.

“Reaching out to colleges and student organizations was one of my biggest goals this year,” Bohannon said. “By hosting things like general forums and Meet Your Senator Day, we will be able to work much more closely with students.

“Having over 100 student organizations assigned a senator to personally work with them gives us the opportunity to bring such a diverse group of students to the table. We’re excited to help student organizations in any way we can and also to gain their perspective and input on SGA initiatives, as well.”

The senate also voted Thursday to recognize and congratulate the efforts of the Mississippi Alumni Chapters of the University of Alabama and the Mississippi legislators for their license plate charity efforts.

Over the past two years, Mississippi has offered a specialty University of Alabama tag. The Mississippi Chapters of the Alabama Alumni Association and the University of Alabama worked with Mississippi legislators to pass legislation to send a portion of the specialty license fee to charitable organizations.

“I think that it is important not only for students to be recognized, but alumni as well because they also represent the University of Alabama,” Sen. Mary Clanton, author of the resolution, said. “The Mississippi Chapters of the Alabama Alumni Association worked with Mississippi legislatures to pass legislation that directs $44 from the $51 specialty license plate fee to go toward a chosen charitable cause.

“Mississippi is one of the first states to do this, and this year they chose the Blair Batson Children’s Hospital where they presented at check for $71,000. The $71,000 represents over 1,500 UA tags being purchased in the state of Mississippi.”

The SGA Senate will have another special summer session on July 17 before returning to its regular weekly meetings in the fall.

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Senate focuses on student outreach