Conflict crisis

BY  JESSIE OWENSBY, Co-Opinions Editor

Currently, Natalie Crawford is the Director of Student Activities and Campus Events, the advisor of Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Sigma Alpha Pi.

When asked what she thinks is the role of an adviser, Crawford answered, “It’s to facilitate success, leadership, and student development.”

“I am an active adviser in all the groups I’m involved with. I do not tell them what to do. I make strong suggestions, but in the end, they have the final word. I make that very clear in all the meetings I attend,” said Crawford.

However, several of her own advisees question the structural integrity of the student government, the activity board and the leadership group. SGA Vice President Katt Knarr said that she believes “several people on SGA feel pressured or intimidated to approve things that Natalie is in favor of. I believe it is a conflict of interest for her to be the adviser of all those groups. I think it’s wrong, and I don’t think she should be allowed to oversee both clubs. She shouldn’t have any input in our decisions or actions because she is not a student, and this is the Student Government Association.”

There have been many questions regarding SGA approving funds to CAB, which has been reported over several monthly SGA meetings.

Knarr said she disagrees with these approvals.

“I don’t think that SGA should give any money to CAB ever because they have their own budget,” she said. “But unfortunately, executive [officers] on SGA don’t get a vote.”

“CAB does have a budget, but it comes out of the Student Affairs department budget,” Crawford said. “When CAB asked for money from SGA, it was for a national conference. I didn’t want them to take money out of the activities budget to attend a conference. I wanted them to use their other sources, so as not to take money away from the student body as a whole.”

Crawford contributes this to a lack of clubs and associations simply asking for funding.

“If other clubs want money for something, they are welcome to submit a proposal to SGA for approval. They just don’t do it,” said Crawford.

All clubs, associations and students are encouraged to  request funds from SGA for their causes.

In February, SGA discussed Sigma Alpha Pi and how it can be more involved in leadership activities with SGA. This approach was proposed by Brandon Callahan, a member of Sigma Alpha Pi and an SGA senator.

Crawford replaced Drew Davis as adviser of Sigma Alpha Pi in January.

“It is the goal of the department of Student Affairs to create leadership, and these three clubs (SGA, CAB, Sigma Alpha Pi) should be working together seamlessly, and as much as possible to create an environment of leadership across campus,” said Crawford.

Crawford maintained that teaching accountability and leadership are her main goals for all the clubs she advises, not necessarily how the clubs reach that goal.

SGA is working to build relationships with commuters, and they are striving to get more student involvement in activities across campus. SGA and Crawford encourage students to come to the meetings and offer suggestions.

They pledge to make the student body more aware of the meeting dates and times, and they also pledge to make the minutes for each meeting public.

Clubs and associations are also encouraged to submit proposals and suggestions to SGA. The Association maintains that its mission is to serve the student body in any way it can, and to be a liaison between students and administration.