Student Association

Student Association pledges to contribute $5,000 to aid disaster relief efforts across the country

Sabrina Koenig | Asst. Photo Editor

Alongside the pledge to natural disaster relief, SA is planning Mental Health Awareness Week for this October.

The Syracuse University Student Association on Monday pledged to donate $5,000 to natural disaster relief. University Union has agreed to match that amount.

“Obviously there’s been a lot of natural disasters and hurricanes to the southern and southeast region,” said SA President James Franco. “We had a conversation with UU last week and we came to (the) agreement to match funds with each other.”

A motion was passed at SA’s Monday night meeting to contribute $5,000 from the student advancement fund to aid efforts in Houston and Florida — along with other areas that could potentially be affected by natural disasters. UU has agreed to also donate $5,000 after SA’s commitment.

The money has not yet been specifically delegated to any organization, but SA hopes to help more than one area affected by disasters, Franco said.

“We want to make sure this has the broadest impact … since we have had Harvey, Irma and now there are more (hurricanes), so we hope to donate to something that has broad effects,” Franco said.

The student advancement fund starts each year with about $70,000, Franco said. SA used $5,000 for the Uber pilot project, launched two weeks ago. Generally, at the end of each school year, SA leaves about $10,000 to $30,000 in the fund, Franco said.

Future plans

Mental Health Awareness Week — planned to run between Oct. 1 and Oct. 7 — will feature themed days such as “Send Silence Packing” day and “Therapy Dog Thursday,” said SA Vice President Angie Pati.

Pati said SA will spearhead Monday and Friday activities that week, including an interactive resource fair. Much of the week, though, is being planned by Active Minds, a mental health awareness registered student organization, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness SU chapter.

Other SA and student body members should try to get involved, Pati added.

“I don’t want to just have organizations that are involved with mental health planning Mental Health Awareness week,” Pati said. “That kind of speaks to how mental health ‘should only be talked about by mental health organizations,’ when it’s integrated into everything we do.”

SA members talked about possibly having a committee help orchestrate the event.

Other business

Two new members were elected to the finance board on Monday. The finance board will eventually have 10 members, and with the addition of two new members, it now has six members.

Keenan Carpender, a senior information management and economics double major, and Rashid Powell, a junior chemical engineering major, were both confirmed to the finance board.

A bill also was passed to create an SA constitution review committee. This semester the committee will rewrite the current constitution. Last year, SA bylaws were updated by a committee, and now no longer align with the constitution, SA Parliamentarian Obi Afriyie said.

The opportunity for the student body to vote on these changes would be packaged together with the 2018-19 SA presidential election.


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