SGA announces 24-hour library space, approves new club and grants first seed money request

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SGA announces 24-hour library space, approves new club and grants first seed money request

Graphic designed by Tyler King.

Graphic designed by Tyler King.

Graphic designed by Tyler King.

Graphic designed by Tyler King.

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Updates to Tarver Library

The Student Government Association (SGA) announced in an open meeting March 11 that construction is underway in Tarver Library to provide more 24-hour study space for students.

Junior Senator Michaela Jones, chair of the SGA academic affairs committee, said the library plans to finish turning the entire first floor into a 24-hour area by the end of the semester.

“They’re working on getting more tables and chairs and whiteboards down there” as well as portable power cords and additional dry-erase markers, Jones said. “The plan is to have this done by finals of this semester, so hopefully that space will be available to everyone late April.”

She said that replacing the tables and chairs in the study rooms has long been in the works, but that high costs have proven to be an obstacle. Now that the semester is approaching its end, the library can access leftover funds from their yearly budget to put towards renovations.

Jones said the library is also working to ensure students’ safety when using the 24-hour space. She said there will be a gate that pulls down and locks to block off the stairs when the library closes. Six new security cameras will also be installed.

Another update coming to Tarver involves printing services, Jones said.

“Instead of the kiosk thing we have now, they’re going do something called proximity printing. Basically, they’ll have printers around the library, and based on where your computer is, a certain printer will be assigned to that location,” she said.

While the library has responded to these student requests, Jones said the University is not yet open to making printing free because costs would have to be covered through a technology fee added to tuition. Since not all students utilize the printers, Mercer is unwilling to charge all students for access, Jones said.

New student organization approved to work with local school for children with learning disabilities

SGA recognized a new club on campus geared towards local students with developmental disabilities.

“They are The Buddy Bunch, they are a service organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which I think is an area that … our students will be passionate about,” said Junior Class President Emily Harvey, student life and organizational affairs chair.

Freshman Aniya Watts, founder and president, said The Buddy Bunch will volunteer at Woodfield Academy, the only school in Macon catered specifically to children with learning disabilities. Woodfield serves about 80 students, according to Watts.

“One in 10 students in Bibb County has special needs, and that’s not including students in private school systems,” Watts said. “Bibb County already experiences a big lack of funding, so that in turn only hits special education programs way harder.”

The club aims to volunteer biweekly to foster meaningful relationships with students, offer homework help and tutoring, plan and fundraise for programs such as Special Olympics and raise awareness about Woodfield.

Watts said that to make sure club members can provide informed help, The Buddy Bunch has formed a relationship with another student organization, Mercer Educators in Action (MEIA).

She said many MEIA members major in holistic child, a program that trains teachers to accommodate both general and special education students and working with the new club would allow them to apply those skills.

SGA approved The Buddy Bunch unanimously.

Two funding requests approved to support W.O.M.E.N. initiation ceremony

Women of Minorities Empowering the Neighborhood (W.O.M.E.N), a new club on Mercer’s campus aimed at providing mentorship to minority girls in Bibb County schools, was granted both seed money and special funding to purchase materials for a member initiation ceremony. The requests amounted to $250 and $800, respectively.

The induction will honor over 100 members, said Freshman Sen. Sheridan King, W.O.M.E.N. co-founder.

This is the first seed money fund SGA has awarded. A bylaw allowing for the establishment of a seed money budget to help new organizations get off the ground passed in the Senate Feb. 25 after Fiscal Affairs Committee Chair Harrison Ivins, a freshman senator, proposed the amendment.

SGA will reconvene March 18 on the second floor of the Connell Student Center and stream the meeting live on their Facebook page.

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