SGA urges students to vote on SOLO fund

The campus-wide student vote on the Student Organization Life Opportunity Fund will be held Thursday.

SOLO, championed by SGA administrators and executive officers, proposed a $20 tuition hike per semester for students. This money, for students and by students, would be placed into two accounts. A superfund containing 75 percent of the money will be used to bring marquee artists to campus each semester. The remaining 25 percent will be placed in a general operating fund, allocating money to student organizations.

“SOLO will enhance student life on campus in many aspects, some including entertainment, extra-curricular activities, meeting new people, and living a well-balanced life as a Tech student,” said Sean Ochsenbein, SGA president.

The eight-page SOLO bill will increase the size of the SGA Constitution by 50 percent. The extensive framework ensures that the fund can be operated correctly and efficiently by students.

“With any great idea, there has to be a good foundation – that is what this document is,” Ochsenbein said. “Students get to run the nuts and bolts of the operation, and that is why SOLO is unique. It is truly for the students, by the students because they control how we can better benefit our University.”

The major campus events staged by the superfund will be subjective to student vote. SOLO will operate on a rotating-genre basis. Each semester, a list of top entertainers in the chosen genre will be compiled and sent to student vote to select who will perform. Students will be able to attend these concerts and events free of charge.

The smaller account will be available to all student organizations. It will allow for $3000 per year to help put on events and promote each organization. Organizations would be able to request up to $1,000 at a time, with a $2,000 cap for the semester. “This bill will give a truly cultural experience to Tech.” Ochsenbein said, “Between the events that student organizations will be able to put on and the major concerts, the atmosphere here will improve greatly.”

An SGA commission has already been promoting the bill; a Facebook fan page, “VOTE TTU Solo Bill,” has been created.

Ochsenbein said the idea for SOLO came at a Nashville convention while speaking with East Tennessee State University’s SGA President, Brian Bowman. ETSU has a similar fund in place called the Buc Fund.

“Because ETSU is in a slower town, the Buc Fund allows us to have stuff to do on-campus with the university,” said Matt Dean, ETSU senior. “It’s just part of what we do here, and it makes campus fun for everyone.”

Access to the voting site can be found on the Tech homepage and be accessed through the commission’s Facebook page on the day of the vote.