By ABBY SHEGELMAN
For The News-Letter
Junior Class Senator Charlie Green was elected executive vice president of the Student Government Association (SGA) at its meeting on Tuesday in the Charles Commons Barber Room.
“I am passionate about bringing pride and school spirit to Hopkins, and this has been reflected so far in the work that I have done while as senator at Hopkins,” Green wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “Now, as Executive Vice President I am excited to continue this work but also to advise other senators and see work that they are doing in committees that I was never apart of.”
Green is succeeding senior Jack Bartholet, who became SGA executive president on Friday after senior Jason Plush stepped down.
“Charlie is such a dedicated member of SGA. She works incredibly hard, she commands the respect of her peers and administrators,” Bartholet said. “She’s an excellent choice for vice president. I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with her. I know that the Senate is thrilled, and she’s eager and excited to get to work.”
Green commented on Plush’s resignation.
“Jason Plush did a fantastic job as Executive President while in office, leaving office but starting a very important and necessary conversation campus-wide regarding mental illness,” Green wrote.
She believes the changes to the executive board will not affect its productivity.
“I am confident that Jack Bartholet will do a great job in Plush’s position and that the executive board will be able to work well together and continue leading the senate as productively as it has been this year.”
The SGA discussed multiple issues at the meeting, including International Student Programming, results from the Class of 2018 Fall Survey Report and a bill on Halloween buses.
Freshman Class Senators Mi Tu and Akshay Bhamidipadi, Junior Class Senator Saman Baban and Sophomore Class President Anna Du presented their plan for an expanded International Student Programming.
“For me as an international student, the biggest problem is that we don’t have any international program communities,” Tu said. “Some of my friends who are international students don’t speak English well, and it’s not easy for them to connect with people here. It would be easier for them to adapt to the community as well.”
They proposed to create a new Office of International Services position to focus on immigration, orientation and social and intercultural programming to support international students.
“American campus life aspects are very unknown for international students. It would be easier for them to adjust,” Baban, an international student himself, said.
He stated that it took him a while to finally feel comfortable and “immersed” in the country due what he perceives as a weakness in the international orientation program.
Bhamidipadi said that he sees many international students sticking together and not mingling with others.
A plan was proposed to hold an international students’s forum to facilitate discussion about what international students would like to see on campus. Regular meetings for the international student orientation committee were also suggested.
SGA discussed the results of the class of 2018 Fall Survey Report. The main question asked was “What kind of changes would you like to see on Homewood campus this year?” Forty-three percent of responses focused on dining such as whether the CharMar sandwich shop could stay open longer, whether Nolan’s could serve healthier options or whether the Daily Grind could accept dining dollars.
A secondary issue the senate debated was banning smoking on campus. Junior Class Senator Liam Haviv noted that because he perceives that smoking is becoming increasingly acceptable by young people in foreign countries, a ban could potentially alienate international students.
Other SGA members mentioned that another important demographic to consider is the staff.
Freshman Class President Noh Mebrahtu suggested banning cigarettes but not E-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes.
Another point of discussion was the bill on buses to Fells Point for Halloween this Friday. In the past years the SGA has allocated funding towards shuttles and buses to provide safe transportation to and from Fells Point for students 21 and older.
However, the issue in previous years was always students taking it “too far,” according to Associate Dean of Student Life for Student Engagement Tiffany Sanchez.
She said that faculty and staff should accompany students on the buses to make sure students aren’t damaging property and are returning safely. However, the faculty and staff have families with whom they would like to be spending Halloween night. The University also cannot be responsible legally for students who did not return to the buses.
“We are willing to help you all make it safe and interesting,” Dean Sanchez said.
Junior Class Senator Michael Korn informed the senate of his correspondence with Uber since the company could potentially make a deal with the SGA to provide safe transportation for Hopkins students.
The idea to use the funding to collaborate with Uber and other taxi services was brought up as well.
So far $1,650 has been allocated towards the buses. However, this money could be allocated towards an activity on campus for students under 21.
A motion was passed to amend the Halloween bus bill to state that the $1,650 would instead be allocated towards the Student Services Committee’s discretion to find an appropriate and applicable system that would not make the University liable for any activities that will take place on Friday.