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Student Government passes new budget, discusses campus safety at first town hall meeting of semester


The Grand Rapids Community College Student Government held its first bi-weekly town hall meeting of the fall semester and passed a $198,000 estimated budget on Sept. 18.

Student Government President Alex Miranda felt good about the attendance of the student town hall.

“I feel good, we had a good attendance,” Miranda said. “I was actually shocked, it gives me pride.”

More than a dozen students turned out for the meeting which also included a discussion of GRCC’s new security measures that require students and staff to swipe their  RaiderCards to enter campus buildings in the evenings as of Sept. 18. The students discussed other ideas to make GRCC more safe.

The meeting began with some ice breakers and led into a discussion about the new budget proposal, which would see a major decrease compared to last year.

The student activities budget is accrued through the student activity fee paid through every enrolled student’s tuition, with part-time students paying $5 and full-time students paying $10 per semester.

After the budget approval, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science  (SACNAS) student group presented a $7,000 allocation request for four executive board members of their group to travel to Portland, Oregon for the National Diversity in Stem conference in late October.

After explaining why the group members felt that they should have their allocation request approved, the Student Government debated the request before taking a vote. The $7,000 allocation request was denied, but a subsequent reduced allocation for $3,500 was approved. 

After that, the meeting turned to the new security measures that have started this week and some members of the audience raised concerns over the effectiveness of this new measure.

While faculty have been asked by college administrators to show GRCC’s active shooter response video in class, most of the students at Monday’s town hall meeting reported that they had not seen the video. It was brought to the attention of the student government president and vice president that some didn’t even know there was a “how to handle an active shooter” video produced by GRCC. The 7:35-minute video is available on Vimeo and features two former GRCC students who transferred to Michigan State where a shooting occurred.

Kevin Lopez | The Collegiate Live

After the town hall was over, Vice President Michael Zazzo, who sported an Uncle Sam costume and distributed mini copies of the U.S. Constitution, also expressed excitement with the turnout for the town hall.

“These town halls are designed to garner student feedback and student participation,” Zazzo said. “More of that is the primary goal.”

The next bi-weekly meeting will take place Monday, Oct. 2 from noon – 2 p.m in Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall room 108/109.

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