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The Scarlet & Black

SGA Cabinet shares progress: Part II

ACE Coordinator, Natalie Richardson Gentil ’14

After taking over the position of ACE Coordinator, Gentil has sought to address the financial missteps that plagued the ACE Committee last year. Along with Vice-Coordinator Aaron Levin ’14, Richardson Gentil has helped to alter the trajectory of ACE.

Last semester, ACE was the source of the majority of the eight percent over-budgeting by SGA, accounting for 24,000 of the more than 28,000 dollars total over-expenditure. Although this year’s Cabinet took on the issue of balancing the budget across all the committees, Richardson Gentil made restructuring ACE funding policy a priority from the start of her term.

This year ACE prioritized allocation in advance, frequent check-ups with the treasurers and more whole-budget restructuring. These efforts constituted structural changes that are intended to guard against future overspending and over-allocation.

SGA recently announced that its budget has stabilized through the combination of new policies, such as those employed this semester by ACE and other committees, and better overall awareness of budgeting.

Resultingly, the committee is currently under-allocated for the semester by 3,000 dollars. Richardson Gentil is happy with the results of the decisions she and the SGA Cabinet made early on to address the budget problem directly and now looks to put the unallocated funds towards other investments for ACE.

“Because we are under-allocated this semester, we will be able to invest in things for next semester,” Richardson Gentil said. “[Like] better training for ACE Security next semester … they have requested to be trained in first aid and bystander intervention. It would make them more comfortable in doing their job … and make sure the parties are safer for the [security] people and the attendees.”

With ACE’s budget comfortably managed this semester, Richardson Gentil and Levin ’14, are looking forward to the spring semester, which typically features more events. In addition to the usual range of events planned for spring, ACE has been working with the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce and the Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement to organize new events.

Student Services Coordinator, Sam Offenberg ’14

Although he went into his new position with “pretty realistic expectations”, Sam Offenberg ’14 did not expect his responsibilities as SGA  Student Services Coordinator to include dressing up as Santa and posing for photographs for the town’s holiday celebration.

Offenberg has been focusing on fostering community connections this semester.

“I definitely like to think that those [small] things go a long way,” Offenberg said. “I think that will help with bridging town-gown gaps.”

Costumes aside, SGA Services has made very real progress in establishing new town-gown relations and instituting OrgSync as the main organizational program for unified communication and protocol with student groups.

OrgSync was unrolled fully with this year’s 2017 class, who were introduced to the program over their orientation. The main remaining challenge with OrgSync is informing upperclassmen about using the program effectively. With most student organizations registered with the program at this point, Offenberg is already seeing the benefits of the uniform structure.

Offenberg has also been expanding the working relationship between the Service Committee and the town, which have culminated in more town-gown events this year, with more in the works for next semester. Citing more frequent and regular meetings with the Chamber of Commerce, Offenberg hopes to see more events and more projects involving local causes and community members. The newly announced Community Engagement Award is the result of some of this invested time and effort in improving and building on links between students and the community.

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