SGA Round Up
Justin Sullivan

The Student Government Association (SGA) has begun work on a variety of projects to tackle this coming semester.

 Proposed changes to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point's tobacco and smoking policies are one of the more contentious issues, set to be resolved by SGA's Ad Hoc Committee for the Resolution of Tobacco Concerns.

Voters will have the chance to choose between five different options in a binding referendum: a campus-wide tobacco ban; a campus-wide smoking ban; the creation of designated smoking areas; a transitional plan; and an option in favor of not changing any of the current policies regulating tobacco use on campus.

SGA will also see some changes to the inside of its own organization.

SGA's environmental sustainability and issues director position will be reorganized into a larger environmental sustainability office. UWSP student organizations concerned with environmental issues will be represented in the new office to better reflect UWSP's commitment to issues concerning the environment.

One of the environmental concerns up for discussion is the Penokee Range iron mine in Northern Wisconsin and the issues the mine may cause to the environmentally conscious UWSP campus.

“They will have a larger budget, better apt to pay for capital projects in order to be sustainable,” said SGA President Seth Hoffmeister.

Hoffmeister also said that the legislative affairs committee is creating a group of professionally trained student lobbyists who will travel to Madison and even Washington D.C. to influence legislation benefiting student interests. 

Along with student interests, Hoffmeister said that SGA will be meeting with landlords around the Stevens Point area to make the city a “just place to live” for students.

SGA will also be revisiting regulations concerning workers rights and cutting UWSP contracts with places that use sweatshop labor.

Hoffmeister said that one of SGA's biggest concerns last semester was the presidential election and getting students out to vote. SGA created the Student Vote Coalition in order to register as many students as possible to vote and become educated voters by Election Day.

Hoffmeister said that UWSP registered the most students percentage-wise out of all the UW-System schools.

SGA elections will be held on Friday, March 15th at 8 a.m. through Thursday, March 21st, ending at 4 p.m.

For any students interested in joining SGA, applications to be on the senator and presidential ballot are open. Hard copies of the completed application are due in the SGA office by 5:00 PM, Friday, February 15, 2013.