Feb 28th, 2024, 07:00 PM

The SGA Beat - February 28th

By Molly Eklund and Jacob Shropshire
Image Credit: Jacob Shropshire
Sonya Stephens Speaks to SGA

Sonya Stephens 

President Sonya Stephens spoke to the Senate and addressed questions submitted by student senators throughout the week. The questions were organized around the educational experience for students at the graduate and undergraduate levels, the financial needs of the school, and how the current administration can optimize its assets to create the most well-rounded curriculum possible.  

President Stephens spoke to the need for increased support around the undergraduate trajectory. She pointed out that a cultural trip would strengthen the scaffolding among first years and wants to make study trips more accessible for third- and fourth- year students. The educational arc for undergraduates, she said, should include more career-oriented content, as the internship process is notoriously difficult and modules are only available to graduate students. She said that increased engagement in the Global Professional Skills program could also be leveraged to fill those gaps.  

Space at AUP, or lack thereof, was a key talking point as well. Stephens said that feedback shows the need for new or optimized spaces for students to eat, socialize, work, hold club meetings, and have special events, and that the administration is looking for ways to add those spaces. Growth is a crucial component of Stephens’ plan, and with growth, she said, come more opportunities for partnerships, financial aid, and a bolstered international reputation. Fundraising and increasing AUP’s endowment are a focus, she said, but as the university can only draw on about 5% of its endowment funds to fund scholarships, the project for growth is a long-term one.  

The conversation turned to Paris, and how we can continue to use it not only as our playground but as a portal and classroom as well. President Stephens  discussed what strategic organizations could add reputational value and potential revenue, as well as how they could cut costs on campus and enrich AUP’s curriculum. She concluded with a call to action for participation in end-of-semester and “campus climate” surveys, noting that 2% of the student body participates in surveys, and they are a crucial tool for the administration to improve educational experience and daily life.  

AUP World’s Fair 

(Image Credit: Molly Eklund)

Sophomore representatives presented the plan for AUP World’s Fair to the Senate, encouraging students and senators to get involved with the event. The World’s Fair is an annual event hosted by students to celebrate the culture and cuisine of countries around the world hailing AUP students . The event will be held on March 28, from 6:30-8 p.m on the first floor of the Combes building. 

Students can represent their home country by hosting a table and bringing food from that country. Each table is allotted €100 for food and decor, which will be reimbursed. Students can contact the sophomore representatives at a110171@aup.edu or a113551@aup.edu for more information about hosting a table. 


(Image Credit: Molly Eklund)

Following  a presentation by the organizers of TEDxAUP last week, the Senate approved their €2,000 proposal for the event. Budgets for over €1,500 have a one-week waiting period before approval can happen, which is why the vote did not occur last week.  

AUP’s Model UN organization requested €323 from the Senate for their delegate fees at a conference in Barcelona this year. After a short discussion about funding for travel, the budget was approved.  

The Comfort Club requested €702 for events for the rest of the year, including craft workshops to help students destress. The Senate approved the request, but €36 had to be allocated from the Activities and Social portion of SGA’s budget, which is distinct from the Clubs portion, because there was no money left in the Clubs budget. (More about this in an upcoming article.)