SGA appoints Kamp as senator-at-large

Dan Doren, Senior Reporter

DeKALB — The Senate appointed former Deputy Speaker Cassandra Kamp, a junior pursuing a dual degree in psychology and rehabilitation and disability services, as senator-at-large during its Feb. 23 meeting.

“My favorite part of NIU is how diverse it is,” Kamp said. “What I’ve noticed is we kind of have had the same groups involved in SGA, and that’s absolutely fantastic. But I feel like, to actually make big impacts on campus, we need to get those other students involved as well.”

Kamp said one of her strategies for meeting the needs of a diverse student body is building more robust connections between the SGA and other student organizations.

“We obviously have over 300 student organizations recognized, but we don’t have super close ties with maybe more than … 50 of them,” she said. “It’d be really great if we could start strengthening those relationships.”

During her previous stint in the Senate, Kamp met with a number of student organizations to discuss SA relations, she said.

Kamp said students aren’t as informed as they ought to be on what the SGA means for student representation, and the Senate should spend more time shaping its message surrounding the aims and objectives of the organization.

“We just say, ‘Do you want to advocate for the students?’” she said. “But every time a senator comes up here, it’s a little bit hard for them to articulate what they want to do. … So if we, off the bat, explain to them what SGA can do for them, and what they can do to push that forward, that would be great.”

Kamp said increasing awareness of the cultural resource centers on campus would be beneficial for students and suggested getting these centers to host tabling events to promote their services.

“I think what we need to do is utilize the Holmes Student Center and have the cultural resource centers table during the day,” she said. “Have them talk about where they are, what they do [and] what they offer. … I especially think that they should be at the involvement fairs.”

Providing a HuskieLine route to Aromas Hookah Bar at 811 W. Lincoln Highway, where those 21 years or older will soon be legally permitted to smoke marijuana, and booking more entertainers to perform at the Convocation Center could be ways of expanding weekend activities for students, Kamp said.

“[We could be] focusing more on these recreational activities that students can do in their free time to relax and kind of spend some time socializing,” she said.
Other Business

The Senate granted $5,000 in supplemental funds to NIU’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, whose members would be attending the Sigma Tau Delta 2020 International Convention from March 25 to March 28 in Las Vegas.

Sigma Tau Delta is a recognized student organization that aims to award recognition for high achievement in English language and literature, foster English literacy and demonstrate high standards of academic excellence, according to its website.

Brooke Lavite, treasurer for NIU’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, said attending the convention was important for learning ways of recruiting and retaining members.

“Last year, we’ve had a lot of issues with people that [were] basically … falling off and not sticking around as much,” she said.

The initial amount requested was $6,363, intended to cover registration, travel, hotel and food costs. Through deliberation, the Senate agreed to reduce the amount by $1,363 over concerns of a depleting supplemental funding pool and uncertainty surrounding the commitment of Sigma Tau Delta members.

Senate Speaker Ian Pearson said there was about $15,000 in available supplemental funds left for the year, and he plans on requesting that funds from the SGA’s operating budget be reallocated to the supplemental funding pool to keep up with solicitations.

“March is usually a really popular time for orgs to do events, and we typically get a lot of supplemental funding requests right at the end,” he said.

Furthermore, the Senate granted official recognition to NIU’s chapter of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students.

MAPS strives to provide support and resources for minority pre-medical students to encourage their retention so they complete their degrees, according to the chapter’s Constitution.

“What we plan to offer for our students is volunteering opportunities in the community,” Joshua Anetekhai, president of NIU’s chapter of MAPS, said. “We’re doing this by reaching out and creating relationships and acting as a conduit for our students.”

Lastly, three senators accepted nominations to compete in the Senate Speaker election on March 22: Legislative Director Ashley Hines, Community Service Director Clayton Schopfer and Brad Beyer, chairperson of the University Services Oversight committee. Pearson will be graduating in May.