President Aiden Medellin delivered the State of the Senate address at the Student Government Association (SGA) weekly meeting Wednesday.
Medellin detailed progress made on each of the Elevate slate’s 15 platform points — focusing on counseling center initiatives and the Cardinal Fledglings peer mentor program.
“We thought we were good at getting students counseling sessions at the beginning of the year,” Medellin said. “Then, out of nowhere, we reached historic numbers in cases where students were reporting they wanted to have therapy sessions.”
RELATED: Ball State Counseling Center sees increase in calls for appointments, wait times
To combat the rise in counseling session requests, Medellin said SGA established an ad-hoc committee to work with the counseling center on developing group therapy sessions.
Also in the address, Medellin said the Cardinal Fledglings peer mentor program did not get the amount of interest SGA had hoped.
“We think [Cardinal Fledglings] just happened at the wrong time,” Medellin said. “There’s a whole binder that Cassidy [Mattingly] has put her heart and soul into and we’re hoping the next secretary will take a look at it.”
Secretary Mattingly said Cardinal Fledglings might not have gotten much interest from freshmen because the program was launched in December. The program aims to match a new student with an upperclassman who can serve as a peer mentor in navigating Ball State.
“It was mid-semester and I was working with Laura Helms, the interim dean of students, who was very excited about building the program,” Mattingly said. “In December, there were only about 38 new freshmen coming in and unfortunately, our social media doesn’t have the outreach we would like to have.”
Mattingly said she hopes Cardinal Fledglings can attract more freshmen in the fall semester through the activity fair and summer orientation.
“I think Cardinal Fledglings can be a good bridge between the student and their experience at Ball State,” Mattingly said. “It can be really hard for students to come to a new educational place and not know anything.”
Describing progress on other platform points, Medellin said SGA will continue to work toward improving the Ball State map app with Digital Corps, but updating the app may continue into next semester.
Medellin said he met with Karen Adkins, director of dining services, about the possibility of a 24/7 on-campus convenience store. A recent SGA poll found 83 percent of students are in favor of a dining convenience store.
“That’s something dining can look into in the future, but it’s difficult to enact right now because they’re building a new dining facility,” Medellin said.
He said Elevate has accomplished eight of their 15 platform points and he thinks an additional three can be addressed before the end of the semester.
The senate also voted on the “Budget Request and Allocation Process” amendment introduced last week, which would require budget requests to be submitted to the finance committee at least two weeks before the event. The amendment passed 31-2.
A new senator, sophomore finance major Davis Odom was appointed to the collegiate caucus to represent the Miller College of Business.
Odom said he wants to help SGA complete community outreach initiatives.
“I can see SGA has a lot of outreach on campus and gets a lot done,” Odom said. “I think there’s more areas of improving our reach on campus so people know about SGA, and that’s what I want to do.”
Finally, during committee reports, Diversity and Multicultural committee chair Jordyn Blythe said the African-American hair care products drive raised $180 and will continue to take donations through the end of the week.
Contact Grace McCormick with comments at email@example.com or on Twitter @graceMc564.