Students to vote on SGA constitutional change

Students will have the chance to vote online Thursday on a change to the SGA constitution. The vote will be on how to organize and run a recently passed bill which created the Student Organization Life Opportunity fund.The fund, created from $20 assessed from students’ tuition each semester, will finance on-campus concerts and allow organizations to apply for funding for on-campus activities.

“SOLO is a new step to help students get interested and active on campus each semester,” Sean Ochsenbein, SGA president, said. “Any step in that direction is a positive step.”

Seventy-five percent of the fund will go toward a major concert every fall and spring semester.

“These events give students something to look forward to,” Ochsenbein said.

The hope is that events and concerts on campus will increase student retention. In addition to a major concert, part of the fund will be used as allocation for on-campus events.

Twenty-five percent will be available for campus organizations to receive funding for campus events. The event must be open to all students and “support a majority of students in a positive way on campus,” Ochsenbein said.

Organizations will only be able receive up to $1,000 an event and up to $2,000 a semester. Leftover money will roll over to the next semester.

Because the fund is self-operating from student tuition, the fund will still be able to operate and provide concerts and allocation money, even with further budget cuts.

The SOLO fund is based off the Better University Community fund of ETSU. The ETSU BUC fund has funded on-campus concerts for several years.

“I think it’s a well-written base for the SOLO fund,” Ochsenbein said.

ETSU SGA President Brian Bowman said, “I believe the way [the BUC fund] has changed campus is immeasurable. There is no telling how many students have benefitted and have been inspired to stay [at ETSU] from events funded from BUC.”

To review applications of organizations seeking funding through the SOLO fund and to search out artists for the major concert each semester, the SGA must have a constitutional change to create a committee to operate the fund. This change requires a majority of those in the student body who vote in the online election.

If approved by the students, the SOLO fund bill and the constitution change still need approval by Tech administration. It will also require Tennessee Board of Regents approval of the $20 tuition increase.