by Marcia Hunt
Wednesday afternoon, the Purchase Student Government Association (PSGA) held their first meeting of the semester. The meeting served as an introduction to PSGA happenings and allowed new senators to learn more about the organization and its Executive Board. Much of the discussion was about what the COVID-19 pandemic means for Purchase’s extensive list of clubs and organizations.
One of the many changes due to COVID is the unusually small budget this semester. The Fall 2020 Budget – which is public on Pantherlink – is $280,000. This is $207,000 less than the Fall 2019 budget. This means that the Mandatory Student Activity Fee (MSAF) has also decreased significantly; this semester, the MSAF is $80.
“We thought a lot of people within the last few months have been through a lot of financial difficulties so we didn’t want to charge the normal $125.00 just to keep our budget the same,” said Sara Atlassi, the Finance Coordinator of PSGA. She added that the smaller MSAF was meant to avoid overcharging students and prevent a complicated refund process.
Operations at The Stood have also been changed in accordance with health guidelines this semester, according to Chair of Senate Christopher Klein. By the end of September, The Stood will be opened with reduced hours. The maximum capacity will also be decreased to 40 students; all students will be required to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines to maintain the safety of all.
“This semester, Whitson’s, the Dino Room, and the Cinema will be closed,” Klein said, stressing that all large events are prohibited. Additionally, high contact surfaces will be covered. Any in person event must be requested three weeks prior to them happening and approved by PSGA’s student service group.
The PSGA Executive Board also stated that PSGA entities must keep all information on Pantherlink up to date. This includes rosters, contact information, and virtual events, which should be posted on Pantherlink before they are promoted on social media.
Although there are only approximately 750 students living on campus this semester, PSGA is determined to keep campus life as enriching as always. “All services will be adjusted to continue and meet the needs of students this semester,” said Karlo-Filomena Yao, Chair of the Council of Clubs and Organizations.