By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Nov. 14) — While it may not be the holiday season quite yet, during the St. Bonaventure University Student Government Association’s biweekly meeting last night one may have realized the campus community is getting ready for it.
Bill Lynch from the Salvation Army started the meeting by giving a quick talk about the “Call for Red Kettle Volunteers.” The “Red Kettle Volunteers” are people who donate their time to ring the bell above to gather donations for the Salvation Army.
“It’s that time of year where we get a lot of our fundraising by ringing the bells at different locations; in Allegany, Olean Portville,” said Lynch. “There are Thanksgiving baskets as well as Christmas baskets. We would love to have you get involved.”
Lynch noted that in addition to being able to donate money at one of the red kettle sites, one can also donate online at www.onlineredkettle.org. All proceeds go right back into the local community in the form of financial support and services.
Donations are accepted right up until Christmas Eve, Lynch said.
The next item on the SGA agenda was Sr. Suzanne Kush, director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, who spoke about the St. Bonaventure University Presidential Challenge Campaign.
Last year, three Bonaventure representatives attended a workshop at the White House to understand exactly what the White House Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge was about. Sr. Margaret, university president, Br. Ed Coughlin, dean of the School of Franciscan Studies and interim director of the Franciscan Institute, and Lana Benatovich, trustee, all attended, said Sr. Suzanne.
“We have the full support of Sr. Margaret and the cabinet, as well as Lana who is very active and always asking questions about where the challenge is going,” she said. “She is a very supportive board member.”
Sr. Suzanne spoke about how when the Damietta Center was opened in 2006, it did not have anywhere near the support or programming that it now has.
One of the main goals of the Presidential Campus Challenge is to promote interfaith awareness and service and attempt to make a difference in how we view other religions.
The challenge is already underway. Intervarsity is a new club at Bonaventure that helps gather Protestants together. The campus also had a Muslim student association.
“Service is at the core of this university,” said Sr. Suzanne. “Because of SGA club’s services projects, we were able to help 10,000 individuals during the last epidemic year.”
The organization’s goals for the 2012-2013 academic year include:
*exploring ways of holding interfaith dialogue on campus
*increasing service opportunities with various cultural and faith groups
*improving the reflection process for both short-term and long-term service experiences
One of the biggest shortcomings of the group is the lack of a student committee to assist with these goals, said Sr. Suzanne.
A very brief overture of the ASGA Chicago Student Government Training Conference followed.
Six SGA members attended the conference. The main focus of the conference was to share with other schools how each individual organization is run.
Abby Harrington, SGA vice president, said after speaking with other school’s officers that SGA is considering, among others, moving the elections to November. This way, incoming officers can shadow current officers.
She also spoke about hosting either monthly or bi-monthly meetings with officers and the executive board about reorganizing the club’s finances.
Figuring out a way to get student attendance up was also discussed.
The floor was then opened to presentations. Pep Band, Psych Associates (Psi Chi & Psychology Club), College Republicans, Model United Nations and Mock Trial all shared what they have done so far and what they have planned for the future.
Afterwards, a sheet was passed around the room for to sign up for the constitutional review committee. This committee exists every two years and meets twice a month during the spring semester to vote on changes to the SGA constitution, said Robbie Chulick, SGA executive secretary.
The Angel Tree Gift Drive and the success of the Andrew Nicholson shirts were the last two items of discussion.
Next Monday or Tuesday, anyone can donate toys or cash for the gift drive. All the proceeds go to Olean Child Day Care.
The junior class announced that around 98 Nicholson shirts have been sold thus far. Sr. Margaret would like the students going on the bus to Toronto for the Orlando Magic game to wear the shirts in support of Nicholson.
The sale has been considered a huge success, making nearly $1,000. Shirts are still available in Reilly Center 208 or outside the ticket office during the basketball games. They will also be sold outside the bus this Sunday.