SGA rundown: Donation box robbed, efforts for campus safety and accessibility underway

Graphic+provided+by+SGA.

Graphic provided by SGA.

Mercer University’s Student Government Association (SGA) met on Feb. 7 to tackle a wide variety of issues from club funding requests to addressing campus security. This is the SGA rundown.

Donation box robbed

A student concern was brought to the attention of SGA members at their Feb. 7 meeting after money was stolen from a donation basket in the Connell Student Center lobby, Campus Outreach Chair Sen. Sheridan King said. 

The incident was brought to her attention by the student spearheading the donation drive, sophomore Maiya Chester. King asked what ways SGA could step in. 

President Adam Penland said there was little that SGA could do to help refund the student for the money stolen from the donation box, but suggested notifying Mercer Police to have them step in and investigate.

The senators discussed a variety of additional steps, including checking to see whether or not there are any cameras that would have caught the incident—there are not, one of the senators noted. They also raised the idea of putting the box in the SGA office at night in order to avoid future theft, which was the option that King brought to Chester.  

Ultimately, in a message to The Cluster, King said that Chester decided to start seeking donations in person as a result of the incident. King noted that Mercer students are not accurately represented by this incident.

“I think that Mercer students are definitely better than this minor discrepancy and lack of judgement,” King said in a text message. “However, there are students like Maiya Chester who continue to set the standard for being a Mercer Bear.”

It is unclear what organization the donations were going to support or how much money was stolen in the incident.

Campus Safety

Chair of the Campus Safety and Improvements Committee Sen. Caylen Johnson drew attention towards the upcoming SGA “Safety Walk”, where senators walk around campus with Mercer Police Chief Gary Collins and discuss how to improve safety on Mercer’s campus.

Johnson told the senators that she needed a couple more SGA members to join her on the semesterly efforts to collaborate with the Mercer Police department. 

A more accessible Mercer

Members of SGA recently met with officials in the Office of Access and Accommodations about how they could best use $2,000 to make campus more accessible. 

This has been, said Penland, something SGA has long been working to hammer out, to not much success—but many of the senators involved seemed optimistic that cool things are happening.

Student organization funding

SGA members considered two special funding requests, with senators unanimously voting to approve funding to both the Green Committee and the Financial Management Association student organizations.  

The Green Committee, which works to encourage sustainability on Mercer’s campus, received $1,000 to help finance gifts to help encourage students to come out to events, student organizers said. These gifts include things such as reusable silverware, among other things. 

The Financial Management Association, a business club, missed the deadline to apply for Bear Grants—which is the source of funding for clubs and student organizations provided by SGA—and so was seeking funding for their operation.

They included gifts for things such as speakers, gifts such as pens with the school of business name on it, among other operating expenses. The club received $500 in funding.