The SGA looks to expand capital improvement projects

by Grace Peck, Special to The Simpsonian

INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Student Government Association has several capital improvement projects within the finance committee in the works to improve student life.

From the sidewalk outside of Kent Campus Center to the various water bottle stations and outdoor patios, the capital improvement projects implemented by the SGA have slowly improved student life in small ways but with big impacts.

Current projects include improvements to parking awareness on campus – adding a speed bump to the Clinton parking lot to remind people to slow down — and more signage so people know where to park and exit.

Representatives also want to add charging stations around campus, starting with Kent. Although they’ve already added many water bottle stations, they hope to add more of the filtration stations to other places on campus.

They are working on improving the lounges in the first- and second-year dorms and adding more lighting around campus to poorly lit areas, like the front of Carver and between the baseball lot and Kent.

The biggest project so far is the Prairie Project, which the SGA is partnering with the Sustainability Club to restore tallgrass prairie on five acres of land, The Simpsonian reported earlier this year. This project would help restore prairie lands to Iowa since over 99 percent of Iowa’s prairies have been ruined.

The SGA figures out what to work on based on what students want. They listen to student complaints and encourage them to voice what they need on campus if it’s plausible. The SGA capital improvement projects are run by the finance committee, which has five members and headed by Nick Laning. Within the finance committee, each member works on the capital improvement projects, as well as budget requests from other committees of the SGA. They figure out if there is funding available for what specific project they want to accomplish.

To get a project approved for funding, groups requesting funds must submit a form explaining what they want to do and a basic break down of their plan. The final yes of all projects are made by all of the SGA. They also have to have the project approved by the building managers to make sure they can make the changes to the buildings.

“I joined SGA so I could make a difference and have my voice heard and be able to be a voice for others” said Sydney Samples, a sophomore majoring in political science and environmental studies with a minor in Spanish. She and the other members of the SGA said they care deeply about what will improve the campus and student life.

Samples also said if students have any suggestions for improvement projects, they are encouraged to speak to anyone on the finance committee, such as herself, Laning, Robert Lyons or other members of the SGA.