Voter Registation and Voting Importance
The SGA is dedicated to helping young people vote. With the help of Virginia 21, a lobbying group for collegiate studends from Richmond, Virginia, and other clubs and organizations within the community, the SGA is helping students get registered and get voting. This includes sponsoring voter registration drives, funding for debate viewing parties, and working with Radford Transit to get buses to transport people to and from the polls on election day. For more information about voter registration or to find your polling location, visit the Virginia State Board of Elections website.
Reform to Smoking Policies
The SGA began investigating this issue last spring. Our goal is not to promote any particular type of ideological agenda, but instead find the best workable solution involving all groups that are affected by smoking on campus. In our poll on the Student Government ballot for the Fall 2012 elections, we found that 51.4% of students polled (sample size: 1,546) approved of a campus-wide ban on smoking, while 48.6 percent did not approve of such a ban. The Student Government has taken a bill to the Student Affairs Executive Committee to create a Joint Commission for Smoking Reform that would represent all the different constituency groups that would be affected by the ban, including studetns, faculty, staff and administrators who represent a diverse opinion on the issue. Their charge would be to examine and discuss the current smoking policy and either make recommendations for change or recommendations for better inforcement of current policy.
Free Speech and Assembly
Two years ago, the SGA began creating legislation that would change the policies on campus in relation to free speech and assembly. Currently, policies allow for such assemblies only after approval from the Student Activities office and only in front of the Bonnie and Heth Hall. The SGA proposed instead an bill that would allow for speech activites to occur anywhere on campus with the only restrictions being those that concern time, place and manner. This bill, after being merged with a similar piece of legislation from the Dean's Council, is currently under review by the administration.
After our Fall 2012 elections, we learned that 55% of RU students polled (sample size: 1,546) would not like to see a $5 increase in student fees to be used for sustainability purposes on campus. We would never want to propose and pass something that the majority of the students did not want. Instead, we aim to focus on sustainability education for students and reallocation instead of increasing funds. This will require more polling on the issue.