By ABBY SHEGELMAN
For The News-Letter
The Student Government Organization (SGA) discussed school spirit at athletic events, condom distribution and the use of Ublend instead of CollegiateLink at its meeting Tuesday, Oct. 6 in Charles Commons.
SGA passed a motion to adopt Ublend, a website all student organizations could use to advertise their events and meetings. The current system is CollegiateLink, which is not widely used by students or student organizations.
“Everybody wants to see more on-campus activity, whether it’s an enormous crowd at a sporting event, a theater filled with students or a club event that had too many people there than they can handle,” Junior Class Senator Andrew Phipps said.
According to Phipps, Ublend will help increase student engagement on campus.
“Too many times I’ve heard about students not attending events because they didn’t know about them. Ublend will help to fix this by allowing students to view an event calendar of what’s happening at Hopkins,” Phipps said. “Ublend is an effort to make huge strides towards a more active and more fun campus. We have an amazing school, incredible students and passionate organizations. It’s time we prove it with our student involvement.”
According to Junior Class Senator Michael Korn, a new student could easily miss clubs at the Student Involvement Fair (SIF). Ublend would be one place where all events could be centered and accessible to all students.
Some SGA members advocated for the use of both Ublend and CollegiateLink to keep options open for students. Others argued that since Ublend is a new system and backed by the SGA, it would take off more quickly.
SGA also discussed details of its condom distribution initiative, including how condoms should be bought. One proposed source was the Keith Haring Foundation, a non-profit that supports AIDS research, education and care. Some members suggested donating outright to the foundation rather than indirectly through purchasing condoms. Senators deliberated on this topic extensively and also argued the merits of quality and quantity of the condoms.
SGA also debated what method of distribution it should use. Dispensers are currently placed in all the Brody Learning Commons bathrooms and as of now Brody cannot accommodate further drilling of dispensers into walls. SGA members also voiced concerns that containers filled with condoms would be emptied rapidly and therefore would not be accessible to much of the student body.
“This is an initiative to support safe sex, and, with such an inevitable thing happening in college, we want students to be safe,” Phipps said.
SGA Executive President Jason Plush and SGA Executive Secretary John Stanton discussed their meeting with the athletic department regarding theme days at sports events. The first theme day, a white-out, is scheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 10 on Homewood field to cheer on the men’s and women’s soccer teams. Attendees are expected to dress in white.
SGA is also planning a Halloween school spirit event and a blue-out on Nov. 7, the day of the final home football game of the season. SGA hopes to give out free blue T-shirts at this event.
Another idea proposed for increased participation in sports is the creation of a women’s soccer Facebook page to promote the games.
The Junior Class Council is also planning to deliberate on whether or not to have a Blue Jay pride week.
Junior Class Senator Liam Haviv brought up the issue of SGA general body meetings falling on religious holidays. As Hopkins follows a Christian school calendar, it doesn’t account for the other religious holidays such as those of Islam and Judaism. Most senators agreed that missing an SGA meeting for a religious obligation should not count as an absence.
“Just because everyone’s not here doesn’t mean we can’t be productive,” Phipps said.
A backup weekly meeting date was proposed as an option.
Plush also talked about his first meeting with Director of Dining Programs Bill Connor to discuss a few Sophomore Class Council initiatives, including making improvements to Nolan’s on 33rd, Charles Street Market and The Market at Levering. Plush said he will continue to have weekly meetings with Connor to consistently follow up with these initiatives.