By Ethan Hockaday
COVID-19 restrictions meant the University of Findlay Student Government Association (SGA) had to move the yearly Board of Presidents meeting online.
While about 220 attendees logged on, including panelists, student leaders, and some advisors people attended the virtual meeting on Aug. 24, Vice-President of SGA, Jill Prince, a senior studying middle childhood education said in an email interview that some people left this year’s meeting early which could be a problem for their clubs.
“We probably had about 20-25 people log off early, and those people will receive notice soon regarding how that will affect their club’s funding this semester,” Prince said.
“We require that attendees stay the entire duration of the conference to receive funding. By logging off early, attendees funding is at risk for this semester,” Prince said. “However, we are currently reviewing attendance and making further decisions regarding this.
Typically this meeting is held in Winebrenner Auditorium in August and January to kick of each semester. There are usually 200-230 in attendance for the meeting.
“We require all clubs on active campus that wish to receive SGA funding to send at least two, but up to three BOP attendees,” Prince said. “A club must send two student members, and the third attendee may be either a club member or the club advisor. The number of attendees varies each year based on the number of active clubs on campus and how many attendees each club sends.
According to the SGA website, “Board of President’s (BOP) exists to educate student leaders on how to create successful and unique events on campus, and request university assistance in funding. In accordance with the SGA Constitution and Bylaws , an organization must have two representatives present at BOP to be eligible for funding in a given semester.”
“This year, we were sure to include information regarding COVID 19 policies,” Prince said.
Prince says the virtual meeting proposed several challenges.
“Technology issues were the biggest negative to the online format for BOP,” Prince said. “With the technology, and it being the first time this event was ever held virtually, we did have some issues with people being able to access the webinar and connection issues.”
Also, members of each club sometimes have to switch who is schedule to attend the BOP at the last minute. That was a struggle this year with the virtual format.
“The registration was a big challenge,” Prince said. “With the virtual format, all of these switches needed to be changed through the system to confirm that everyone got the link to attend.”
Being able to record and post the information presented at the Board of Presidents, as well as being able to easily track attendance and [receive] feedback from the attendees were some of the benefits of the switch according to Prince.
While some people did find the online meeting easier to follow along and take notes, others found it harder to concentrate and stay tuned in.
Looking forward SGA would like to continue with the traditional in-person catered meeting; however, it could add a virtual option for those who may be unwell or be unable to attend, with the goal of keeping the meeting as accessible as possible.