BGSU Govs 8/27

USG during their first meeting of the 2019-20 school year.

Thomas Gibson, vice provost and vice president of Student Affairs, appeared in open forum at Monday’s Undergraduate Student Government meeting to discuss the University Strategic Plan, with prioritization on three imperatives within the plan. 

For the first imperative, “redefining undergraduate student success,” new initiatives will be created, Gibson said. The “Move for Your Mood” initiative will be continued with another title: “Thrive.”

“We will still incorporate physical activity, with more events outside of the Recreation Center, yet place even more emphasis on financial, emotional, spiritual and occupational wellness to ensure well-being beyond the physical,” he said. 

Gibson also discussed a broad mental health awareness campaign.

“The goal is to step it up for this academic year, still focusing on stigma reduction, but thinking about how we include all parts of our institution, as many of our graduate students say they feel overlooked,” he said. 

This semester marks the second year of the University Activities Organization’s Falcons After Dark program, which was heavily discussed in the meeting, with Gibson wanting to assess and improve the program using input from the senators. 

When asked by Gibson, USG Sen. Reagan Shull commented on the perceived target audience.

“From what I have heard, since many of my friends attend Falcons After Dark, I think it’s mainly seemed to be for the underclassmen population,” she said. 

Sen. Hallie Cunningham discussed a preference on the size of these events. 

“I think a large-scale event is preferable because I know that for myself personally, I will clear my schedule for a larger event rather than smaller ones,” she said.

Later, Gibson discussed the second imperative: “to enhance a culture that supports diversity and inclusion.”

This past spring, the Division of Student Affairs launched their diversity statement – which conveys the group’s hopes and aspirations for the culture they want to see across campus – followed by a formal release of a diversity strategic plan a few weeks ago.

“Now that the plan has been developed, we need to implement the many action items that have been drafted,” Gibson said.

One of the action items encourages resident advisers to have conversations with their residents about diversity and inclusion on campus. 

The third and final imperative, “achieving excellence and efficiency through practices,” includes ensuring that university resources are used responsibly, as well as a Residence Life master plan. 

The plan includes establishing focus groups to discuss what renovations and new buildings should be added to campus.

Later, USG President Marcus Goolsby moved into his executive report, discussing the Not In Our Town Peace March taking place on Nov. 6. With the march beginning in downtown Bowling Green and ending at BGSU, Goolsby emphasized encouraging student attendance. 

He also discussed the upcoming “Bridging the Gap” conference, which will cover food insecurity throughout Wood County. It will be held Oct. 3 in the BTSU from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Additionally, Governmental Affairs Representative Madi Stump said the plastic bag ban has been tabled indefinitely, meaning that the ban is no longer in pursuit; however, they will be working with a temporary sustainability board, including a student representative sitting on the board. 

The city is also currently looking for a contract with a new recycling company, as the current contract is now charging up to 150% more than previous years. Off-campus students may see changes in recycling within the upcoming months. 

The Green Initiatives Fund has over a quarter of a million dollars set aside and is currently looking for student ideas for projects and initiatives, which students can submit at greenbg@bgsu.edu.

The November ballot was discussed due to the appearance of a tax levy for a new elementary school. This levy has appeared on previous ballots and has not been passed. 

USG will hold their next meeting Monday in Room 308 of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union at 7:30 p.m.

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