Senate approves budget for SGA initiative tracker

Kayla Solino | @kaylasolino, Staff Reporter

The Student Government Association Senate unanimously approved the purchase and use of the Notion application as a platform to track SGA initiatives and maintain transparency across campus. 

Notion is an online software program that allows for note taking, task management and project management using databases for personal and collaborative work. A free version is available for personal use, but the company offers other team and group plans with a subscription. 

The SGA will be using the team version of the software for $8 a month. Funding for the Notion platform will be provided out of the SGA adviser’s technology budget. 

Legislative author Andrew Bregman said the inspiration to use Notion for the initiative tracker came from the University of Southern California, which also uses the platform for their initiative tracker.

“The initiative tracker will go on the SGA website,” Bregman said. “So it’ll take you to Notion, which is the host website that we’re using, and once on there, you’ll be able to see everything that the SGA has passed so far, has voted against, or has been sent to committee, who it’s been authored by, who sponsored it, etc.” 

Bregman said the initiative tracker will be accessible to the public through the SGA website. 

“This makes it a lot easier and it’s far more accessible for students to go onto the website and see, whenever the time suits them, what we’ve been doing and what we’ve been accomplishing,” Bregman said.

Currently the only way for students to keep up with SGA decisions is by attending meetings and viewing the meeting docket on the SGA website. In October, the Senate voted to make dockets available prior to meetings. 

The Senate gave oversight of Notion to the executive secretary, Colin Marcum, who said the initiative tracker isn’t just for external relations. 

“It’s also for SGA members so that future senators can actually look back on this initiative tracker and see what’s been passed before their terms,” Marcum said. 

The tracker will allow UA students to keep up with SGA, including legislation that may not make it to the Senate floor. 

“I think it’s really important that this initiative tracker happens, because not everything necessarily runs through the Senate. The Executive Council’s initiatives don’t always pass through the Senate. Sometimes they’re just installed specifically by the Executive Council. So if it’s not a physical event, or if it’s not something that’s widely focused on during a week of the school year … we can highlight within the initiative tracker so that students know,” Marcum said.

Questions? Email the News desk at newsdesk@cw.ua.edu.