On Jan. 23, during the fi rst Student Government Association senate meeting of the semester, the senators approved SB-23, a bill requesting $2,441.25 for 40 SGA members to attend a one-day retreat to the Space Foundation Discovery Center. The retreat will include a provided breakfast and catered lunch, access to the museum and activities organized by the center.
The purpose of the retreat, according to the description of the bill, is to “Fund the SGA retreat. This spring retreat will serve campus Student Government Association leaders from all branches to an educational workshop for team building to serve the UCCS student body. Student Government members will come together for a one-day retreat that will focus on goals planned with the Space Foundation. These goals include; personal and professional meaning, who they are individually, teamwork, clear communication, problem-solving, overcoming setbacks, and clear communication.”
While it is benefi cial for an organization to attend a retreat together for team-building purposes, there are much more inexpensive retreats in Colorado Springs that the organization could have attended and that would have pertained to government, not outer space.
A breakdown of the bill is as follows: $300 hourly room rental fee, $150 set up/take down fee, $1,800 for a four-hour led tour with lunch and snacks and $191.25 for GAR. The bill was approved 10-0, which was voted on by the SGA members who would essentially be benefi tting from this bill being passed.
When club money is dispersed to UCCS clubs, it is available to all students at UCCS; however, this bill and this retreat are exclusive only to students who are members of SGA and not open to all students. Most club experiences at least grants the opportunity for students to be involved. As UCCS emphasizes inclusivity to all students, this is an instance when most of the student body will not even have the opportunity to be involved in this retreat.
One way in which this is contradictory to SGA’s role with UCCS is how they can deny, will deny, and have denied proposals by clubs for events that seem too constrictive and exclusive; that is, the event must be inviting to all students across campus.
Since SGA is an organization that students are elected into, and not everyone can join without being voted in, this leaves those who are not involved at a disadvantage. Even though students themselves vote SGA members into the organization, there is a limit to how many students can be involved, therefore not be entirely inclusive.
Another issue with this retreat is that it is not applicable to the student government association and their role on campus, since it will be at the Space Foundation Discovery Center. If this retreat does not benefi t them in their elected roles in student government, then spending over $2,000 of club money cannot be justified.
If the student body was frustrated with SGA spending money years prior to purchase student government apparel (jackets), then it is important to be aware of this excessive spending.