First SGA Meeting of the Year

RSO members and SGA representatives learned what they needed to know


Photo by Bo Lewis 

A dual-purpose student meeting hosted by both CSU Involve and the Student Government Association (SGA) was held in the Davidson Auditorium this Thursday for a group of Registered Student Organization (RSO) members, faculty advisors, administrators, and SGA representatives. The kickoff meeting was the first of its kind this fall semester and was primarily directed at providing information to RSO members and SGA representatives in order to get the ball rolling for the fall.

Melissa Dempsey, Director of Student Life & Development, hosted the RSO meeting, and the newly sworn SGA president, Winston Black, chaired the SGA meeting. The event lasted approximately half an hour, and about 60 people attended. Dempsey opened the meeting with a short introduction.



“The purpose of today’s meeting is to provide you [RSO representatives] with the resources and information you need to remain an active RSO on campus,” she said.

RSOs were informed by Dempsey and her team that in order to remain active, they must complete several requirements. These included fall renewal applications, attendance of mandatory meetings, attendance of CSU Involve and Astra Scheduler training, attendance of T.R.A.C.K. training, and a required advisor meeting. Currently, there are 159 registered student organizations on campus.

“These requirements are designed to help you stay active and involved as student organizations,” Dempsey added.

RSO representatives were also reminded by CSU Involve member Telina Collins about the rules for requesting the use of event space on campus.

“Advisors must put in EQuests seven business days in advance,” she said, and “spots are not always granted, but you can call me at 706-507-8203 if you want more information about availability.”

Additionally, Dempsey discussed the use of Cougar Connection for advertising information, upcoming event dates like Homecoming (Oct. 22) and Winterfest (Nov. 22), and getting involved with Tower Traditions – events at the clock tower designed to get students engaged. Dempsey also warned about penalties for missing RSO renewal.

“RSOs are encouraged to renew by Sept. 7 at noon,” she said, and “if you miss this deadline, you are no longer an RSO on campus, which means you can’t have events on campus and you can’t be part of SGA.”

Dempsey closed by discussing changes to the RSO handbook, which came directly from the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia.

“Basically, the new requirement is that every RSO must host one event a year or risk losing their active status,” she said. “It’s a way of making sure everyone is active on campus. Currently, 99 percent of RSOs are active, and we really want to keep it that way.”



The SGA meeting was opened by President Winston Black, who introduced his team and made a few short statements about the upcoming semester.

Black, who was sworn in last May to take the seat of former president Logan Ragan, is joined this semester by a brand new staff of student representatives: Vice President of Scholastic Affairs, Mercedes Dickerson; Vice President of Financial Affairs, Christopher Oswald; Chief Justice, William Michael; Speaker of the Representatives, Hillary Hope; and Speaker of the Senate, J’Lynne Jordan.

“We are going to have a few changes to the way things are done this semester,” Black said. “Mainly, anonymous voting is gone, as we will now use paddles with RSO emblems when voting during Forum.”

In the past, voting was done anonymously through a ticket system. Black attributed the change to a need for transparency.  

“It is important that we get an idea of who is voting for what,” he added, and “this will ensure the best possible outcome for our meetings and allow us to streamline productivity and efficiency.”

In addition to the change in voting, Black reiterated the importance of RSO attendance at Forum and reminded the RSO representatives present that a failure to attend would result in penalization according to the SGA constitution. He also reminded attendees that applications for financial aid needed to be turned in before Sept. 7.

“If you or your representative alternates are not present at SGA meetings, you will not be able to vote, which could affect the outcome of your financial aid,” Black explained. “We need to make sure we can hold our organizations accountable, so y’all need to be at the meetings.”

Several representatives vocalized that the penalization was unfair, but SGA Advisor and long-time CSU administrator Chip Reese, Ph.D, made a final statement explaining the rule.

“The attendance is a constitutional requirement,” he said. “You as RSOs can vote to change that, and that revision may get to President Markwood’s desk, but I assure you that it will be vetoed. It is not an arguable point today.”