Student Association is planning to budget $5,000 from the SA Programs Student Government Meetings line of its budget to provide a variety of perks at SA general meetings.
The objective is to increase attendance and participation at weekly SA business meetings.
"Personally … I would be incredibly happy if we had to move meetings to the ballroom because there were too many people," said SA President and senior Nick Spengler.
"It's not just getting people to show," added SA vice president and senior Tyler Ocon. "We want to get them to participate … and to tell us what they think."
Currently, plans to increase attendance include random giveaways of small monetary prizes of $50 – $100 for campus organizations throughout the year as well as food and entertainment.
"We're taking money and throwing it back at the clubs," Spengler said. "Individuals who aren't part of an [SA-funded] organization won't receive prizes."
Prizes will be relevant to the clubs. Spengler explained that a sports club might receive free sports equipment.
The board is also planning to bring speakers to the general meetings."I toyed with the idea of music, but I won't spend money on it," Spengler said. If the meetings ever do make it to the ballroom, however, they will consider free musical entertainment from student ensembles. In the agenda for the Sept. 8 SA meeting, Spengler said that music at meetings could have the potential to make longer meetings "much more enjoyable."
Members of the SA executive board will attend a meeting of each SA organization in order to obtain insight and suggestions from students. They'll also be taking suggestions for speakers that club members would like to hear.
"Having [guest speakers] is an educational opportunity," said director of student affairs and senior Stasia Monteiro.
A plan to get students participating by texting in a "yes" or "no" vote during meetings is also in development. With the proposal up on the projector in front of the room, students can anonymously text whether or not they agree at any time.
"A lot of times you ask if anyone has questions or wants to say anything, and no one says anything," Spengler said.
"I think frequently everyone is zoned out," Monteiro said.
The board is optimistic that attendance will increase, as so much of its plan relies on student participation.
"It depends on success," Ocon said. "We'll move from there."
"If I go a month or so and it's not working, we'll stop," Spengler said. "If people don't want this much money being spent, I want to know."
Students interested in voicing their opinions can email Spengler at email@example.com or attend the weekly SA meeting this coming Wednesday Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Hunt Room on the bottom floor of the MacVittie College Union.