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USG begins transition to newly elected representatives

After’ nine months of Monday night general assembly meetings, Undergraduate Student Government wrapped up the year last night, ending with a transition meeting for the newly elected officers. USG members warned the newly elected officers about issues to look out for next year. One of those issues include changes that will be made in University Dining Services. ‘Something must be done as there are many budget crunches going on,’ USG President John Waynick said. ‘Inevitably, changes have to be made in University Dining Services.’ Five possible scenarios for UDS were discussed at last night’s meeting. The first option proposes no changes at all. The second, if Wendy’s continues the same operating hours next school year, Waynick said UDS staff may be downsized, hours cut and services reduced. This means other UDS operated facilities may need to either be closed during certain times when they have been open before. The third option includes using Flexfunds in the Union at dining venues only before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. but may be used at Wendy’s anytime. The fourth option proposes Flexfunds may only be used in the Union at UDS dining venues before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. The fifth option is to eliminate the concept of Flexfunds entirely and have one meal plan option where students can spend their dollars wherever they chose. More details about these possibilities will come later to USG members as a decision must be made soon, said Joseph Oravecz, associate vice president of student affairs. Waynick explained that the information needs to be solidified soon for marketing purposes to new incoming freshmen. Also at last night’s meeting, USG members patted themselves on the back for their accomplishments and resolutions they had passed during the school year. Even though the Stroh Center Referendum received the most attention from students, Waynick and USG Vice President Sundeep Mutgi discussed other important referendums passed by USG. Mutgi felt coming up with a plan to counter Section O of the Bowling Green City Housing Commission Master Plan was important. ‘We felt that this was targeting students, and so I’m happy a resolution was written and passed by USG,’ Mutgi said. Another important resolution passed, Waynick said, was one regarding the international fee issue. This dealt with an incident last fall where several international students were told that their education would no longer be funded through a fee waiver from the University. ‘This was a serious issue and I am proud to say that a group of students came up with the solution that the University accepted, which makes me proud of USG,’ Waynick said. A resolution to support an opt-out fee of $5 to support energy sustainability at the University was also another important resolution passed, Mutgi said. This resolution was passed by the senate to support a fee that would contribute toward reducing energy expenditures at the University. If a student felt they couldn’t afford this, they would then opt-out similarly to the student legal fee included in students fees. ‘This was a way for students to have a direct impact in going green,’ Mutgi said. The two also highlighted the success of the campus beautification platform. ‘We have secured lots of money for campus beautification and [we] can’t wait to see ‘Home of BGSU’ on the I-75 overpass soon,’ Waynick said. University President Carol Cartwright stopped by to congratulate the newly elected members of USG and thank the outgoing members. ‘I extend my congratulations to both the new and outgoing members and thought this was perfect timing to stop by,’ Cartwright said. She asked for the support of USG in the University’s Charting Our Future Plan. ‘I ask that the new administration support Charting Our Future by writing a resolution,’ Cartwright said. Charting Our Future was a plan started under former University President Sidney Ribeau and includes specific goals, a mission and vision for the University. ‘This plan is not one that will not be a neatly bound document that sits on a bookshelf,’ Cartwright said. ‘It will be one that is constantly reviewed and placed on the Web site.’ Six goals are outlined, and so far, there has been a lot of community engagement regarding the Charting Our Future Plan. Nearly 200 strategies were submitted to support the six goals, Cartwright said. She spoke of the importance of the University carefully going through different phases and steps outlined in the plan. ‘I don’t want these to be my ideas, but yours,’ Cartwright said. To close the meeting, Waynick offered some advice to the newly elected USG members. ‘Not to get sappy or anything, but I urge you to find something you’re passionate about and then this won’t be work for you,’ he said.

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