Vail still trying to spend more SA money

The possibility of a adding a campus skate park or hosting a big-name concert does not seem far fetched to Student Association President Steven Vail.Vail, who is trying to get more student appeal in the club, is taking student requests and hoping to make them a reality.

“My hands are tied in terms of Aramark,” Vail said, of ongoing student gripes about campus food before talking about student suggestions that he can help with. “I take opinions to heart and then bring them to the executive board to discuss.”

At the end of last semester, the SA had around $60,000 to use for “capital improvements and benefit of the entire college community,” said Victoria Angis, the assistant dean of campus life and SA advisor. The money comes from the activity fee that students pay every semester.

And Vail is calling for the student body to help spend it.

He stated that there are 40 clubs on campus and he wants to see them “spend more money and become more involved.”

In another attempt to draw student’s attention, the SA circulated a survey about a skate park after several requests from students. They are now collecting data to take to Castleton President Dave Wolk. Vail said movement on a park isn’t likely until next spring at the earliest.

Others think that the money should go elsewhere.

“The whole college court is against the skate park,” said Tara Chegnon, chief justice of the college court. “They should give the money back to students or use it to benefit all students, unlike a skate park that benefits a select few.”

Dean of Student Life Greg Stone said that the process for clubs to get money is significantly easier than before.

“We decide based on interest and student needs,” Vail said about the allocation of funds.

But he said the SA needs more student voices in order to decide where to spend the money. Only 15 percent of the student body voted in the last election, which was a record-breaking turnout. Vail and Chegnon urge students to run or at least vote in the elections.

“Personally, the only thing I want to accomplish is to get more people involved,” Vail said.

Stone points to decreased visibility as part of the reason for less involvement.

“They can’t be the defender of good against evil,” he said, explaining how there is less contention between the administration and the SA since the club has become the representative of students’ opinions.

Before, students would take their concerns straight to the administration where they would be denied because there were no plans behind their proposal. Students now first go to the SA, where a plan is formulated before being brought before the administration, Stone said.

To hopefully interest more people in the association, Vail is opening the executive board meetings to all students.

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