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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Eight student initiatives pass


At the beginning of every semester, SGA Elections and SGA Student Initiative Fund  (StiFund) Committee host an online election for student initiatives, which require at least 50 percent of the student body to vote and at least 66 percent of the votes counted to be a “yes” in order to pass. For this semester, eight initiatives were passed after a continuous effort through social media and emails from SGA Elections encouraging students to vote on the 21 initiatives on the ballot.

In contrast to last semester, when only 25 percent of the student body voted, this semester’s initiatives garnered more than the threshold of 50 percent.

All initiatives on the ballot underwent an arduous process in order to become effective and plausible, according to StiFund Committee chair Eliana Schechter ’17.

In regards to the eight initiatives that successfully passed, Schechter explained that the time it takes for an initiative to be implemented depends on several factors after election results. She noted that different administrators meet with the StiFund Committee to discuss what elements of the initiatives could happen and in what ways.


“It takes about a semester for them to be approved administratively. Some of them work quicker than others,” Schechter said.

According to Schechter, among the eight initiatives that passed, painting the walls of the JRC basement may take about half a semester to get approved, if it gets approved at all, and then student involvement will determine the rest of the initiative’s enactment.

Furthermore, some of the initiatives that appeared in this semester’s election were already posted in previous semesters, such as the filtered water dispenser initiative, and are generally unlikely to be implemented.

“We had a conversation with Facilities Management. Their protocol so far has been to replace each water fountain in each dorm as they break. We talked to them last semester,” Schechter said.

However, Schechter believes some of the initiatives may happen within the next month. She was optimistic about the initiative to permanently offer grilled chicken for the Dining Hall salad bar, which now needs approval from the Dining Committee and Director of Dining Services Dick Williams, as well as the initiative to provide recycling cans at Harris, which may happen within the next month.

Schechter attributes the failure of the past hot water dispenser initiative at the Spencer Grill to the lack of student involvement and the amount of input that is frequently required to make initiatives a reality.

“There were only about three or four of us working on the initiatives so it was harder for some of them to go through. It’s important that students come and help out with initiatives that they’re interested in because that way it doesn’t leave eight initiatives to three people,” Schechter said.

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