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September 21, 2023

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USG discusses retention, cleaning energy at Monday meeting

The new student government administration hosted its first meeting Monday night and had many people there to speak about University issues.

Brian Kochheiser and Nicole Neely hosted their first meeting as Undergraduate Student Government President and Vice President for the 2014 to 2015 school year.

Chief Financial Officer Sherideen Stoll came in front of the USG to speak about the University’s budget.

“There are challenges facing BGSU in fall 2014,” Stoll said during the meeting.

Enrollment fell below 17,000 students this year, she said, and support from the state has dropped to $16 million, which is equivalent to the support the University received in 1995.

Also, the initial draft for the budget had a deficit of $7.7 million, she said.

“In general, there is a downward trend for enrollment,” Stoll said. “The state of Ohio has changed the way it distributes its funds, which has caused our challenges.”

The funding used to include the amount of students enrolled 15 days after the fall semester starts, she said, and now the funding is decided due to successful course and degree completion.

“Naturally, because of the decrease in students we also have a decrease in completed courses, which leads to less funding from the state,” Stoll said.

If students don’t take anything else away from the meeting, she wants them to know about retention, she said.

“Retention is job number one for all of us,” Stoll said. “[The University] needs to provide tools to be successful all the way to getting a degree.”

After Stoll finished with her presentation, the Environmental Action Group came up during lobby time to discuss the group and asked USG to write a resolution in support of the group.

The members presented a clean energy petition for the students to sign, said EAG Vice President Kaitlyn Trent, and it ended with more than 7,300 signatures around campus.

“That is over half of the student body that wants clean energy,” she said during the meeting.

The group is supporting the President’s Climate Commitment, which states that the University will be energy neutral by 2050.

“How can we achieve neutrality when we are burning fossil fuels?” she asked. “We have already done so much in the University. Imagine drawing students from all over the world because [the University is] is energy neutral.”

There is a resolution being written, but Kochheiser hasn’t seen it yet.

“It sounds like it can be done,” he said.

After EAG spoke, nine students from Dance Marathon and Phi Mu Fraternity spoke about their unhappiness with The BG News and asked USG to take a stand for student organizations.

They talked about their unhappiness with a cover story headline about Dance Marathon printed on Monday, April 7, 2014, and a story about Phi Mu Fraternity printed on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.

USG members asked questions and thanked the students for coming.

USG’s next and final meeting of the semester will take place Monday, April 28 in Union 308 at 7:30 p.m.

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