‘Working well together’

first_imgStudent body president and vice president McKenna Schuster and Sam Moorhead, both seniors, have worked to enhance transparency, accountability and enthusiasm for Student Government Association (SGA) this year.Beginning with transparency, Schuster said they want the student body to know what SGA does and what events are going on. They have organized a bulletin board in the Student Center with photos of all the SGA chairs so students know to whom they should direct comments and concerns.Schuster said their marketing chair, junior Katie Calhoun, has ramped up their social media campaign using Instagram to inform students about events, as well as utilizing fliers in the bathroom they call “stall news.”Responding to the SGA budget problems last year, Schuster and Moorhead have worked to hold their chairs accountable to their duties and positions.“We have worked on transparency and everybody has been working well together,” Schuster said. “We’ve seen a lot more follow through the things we have been planning are actually happening.”Moorhead said SGA has not seen the same kind of budget problems they had last year since she and Schuster have emphasized spending within the means, as well as revising the finance bylaws so everyone can see how much each club is allotted.Another one of Schuster and Moorhead’s goals was to increase attendance at events, which is happening in part because of their marketing campaign, but also due to the implementation of SMCards, Schuster said. She said attendance at SGA events has doubled due to the SMCards which reward students for attending events on campus like lectures, campus ministry events and sporting events.In addition to attendance rising at events, Schuster and Moorhead have worked to increase communication and openness in their office.“Our meetings are really productive, and we’ve really seen organization and follow though as a large improvement this year,” Moorhead said.Schuster said the various SGA chairs have been working together and holding each other accountable to make their events the best they can be.“People are being creative and taking the initiative, when people actually want to see things happen,” Schuster said.In the past, Moorhead said the sustainability chair position hasn’t been utilized to its fullest, but they saw that change this year as the chair helped to plan Food Week.This year, Schuster and Moorhead said they have been working with senior Kelly Gutrich, vice president of internal affairs, to revise SGA’s constitution.Moorhead said the constitution was not cohesive and concise and Gutrich and her constitution committee have been revising it all semester. They put forth the new version for a vote at the Dec. 10 Senate Meeting.Moorhead said they have reached out to the Notre Dame student body president and vice president, as well as the Holy Cross student body president and vice president, to keep them updated on what SGA is doing and to talk about the larger concern of campus safety.“We want to make sure that our students are safe on and off campus,” Schuster said. “We want students to know what cabs are trusted and make sure that cabs won’t deny students because Saint Mary’s is another block further.”Moorhead echoed Schuster’s concern.“We want to make sure Saint Mary’s students are as safe as other students,” Moorhead said.Schuster said SGA has had to overcome the complications ensuing from the disbanding of Student Involvement and Multicultural Services (SIMS) and subsequent loss of the three SGA advisors who served on SIMS.“It was good that we have been really organized and holding our chairs accountable because otherwise that transition to a new advisor might have been more difficult,” Schuster said.Schuster and Moorhead have a “Big Sister, Little Sister” program in the works where first-year students would be paired up with a junior to help guide the student through the challenges of the first year of college.“This program provides advice and guidance because the first year can be rough,” Moorhead said. “We believe we can help to fix that by pairing first-year students with someone who already knows and love Saint Mary’s.”This program differs from the Peer Mentor program, which provides a junior or senior to advise a class of all first-year students.“We want a program that exists outside of the classroom so students can go to their ‘big sis’ for anything,” Moorhead said.Schuster and Moorhead said they are focused on building the groundwork for SGA to be the best it can be in the upcoming years.“We want to make girls feel as welcome as we can,” Schuster said. “While this can’t necessarily happen during our time in office, we don’t want to just turn down good ideas because we can’t see them happen.“We encourage girls to keep going, and it’s exciting because we have many underclassmen who are enthusiastic and want to see their work continued.”Moorhead said they have exciting events planned for the spring, including a spring fling event to enhance campus unity.“It’s in the works, but it’s going to be a fun event for the whole campus,” Moorhead said.Tags: McKenna Schuster, saint mary’s, Sam Moorhead, sga, SMC, smcards, Student Government Associationlast_img read more

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Jonny Corndawg

first_imgCorndawg Can Do it All: Sing country songs, make leather wallets, run marathons.Blue Ridge Outdoors Music - Jonny CorndawgWith a stage name like Jonny Corndawg, you might think the storytelling country troubadour is looking to parody a genre many feel has gone wrong. But Corndawg (real name Jonny Fritz) is actually quite serious about his craft, reviving the vintage sound of revered idols like Waylon Jennings and Billy Joe Shaver with his own lyrical perspective.The multi-talented tunesmith has practically lived on the road for the past decade, though he now holds part-time residences in both Nashville and Brooklyn. In the past few years, his authentic sound with a quirky edge has found favor with a number of alt-country, new school Americana, and indie rock bands, which has resulted in Corndawg touring for extended periods with the likes of Jason Isbell, Deer Tick, Dawes, the Whigs, and Futurebirds.“I’ve been on the road for so long, I don’t really feel like I live anywhere,” Corndawg says. “Fortunately, being on the road feels right at home.”He did find time to settle down in Nashville long enough to make his new record, “Down on the Bikini Line,” released just last month on his own Nasty Memories Records. Sonically, the album reflects Corndawg’s love of Music City’s storied history. With an all-star backing band, his tunes are filled with hyperactive roadhouse rock riffs, dusty pedal steel licks, and timeless fiddle runs. Much of the album features back-up vocals from Tennessee songstress Caitlin Rose.While making the record, Corndawg went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum four times a week to learn more about his idols and soak in the sounds of the past.“Nashville is the absolute mecca of everything that I care about, musically,” he says. “I didn’t want to break into the scene and become the new artist in town. I just wanted to use the city as an educational tool to develop my craft. This record is the product of that.“Conceptually, this album was a dream come true. I wanted to find some really good studio musicians and write a record in that classic Nashville way. I put everything I had into it.”Corndawg grew up in the small Central Virginia town of Esmont, about 20 miles south of Charlottesville. He learned about music at an early age from his father, an experienced luthier who makes guitars and banjos. His dad turned him on to country and bluegrass heroes like Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, and John Hartford, songwriters with wry wit who were never afraid to embrace the obscure and buck the mainstream. 1 2last_img read more

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BLOG: In the Compromise Budget, A Restoration of Human Services Funding

first_img December 13, 2015 Human Services,  The Blog After years of reductions in human services funding, the 2015-16 budget agreement takes significant steps to reverse course and move Pennsylvania forward.Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a budget framework based on compromises reached in discussions with the Governor’s Office and the Pennsylvania House.Governor Tom Wolf is proud to announce that the achievements in this budget are especially significant for human services agencies on the state and local level. These agencies have been in desperate need of help so that they can continue to carry out assistance for some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly, disabled persons, and victims of abuse and sexual assault.The 2015-16 budget includes:Assistance for county human service programs. An increase of $28 million works to restore a third of damaging human services cuts from the prior administration. The administration is committed to restoring the remaining two thirds within the next two years.Maximized use of federal funds. By fully utilizing increased federal funds, this budget avoids devastating cuts across all human service agencies and will leverage $680 million in funding that will be phased in over the next two years.Increased funding for programs that allow individuals to stay in their homes or community-based setting. The 2015-16 budget increases funds for autism and intellectual disability programs, to continue to reduce waiting lists and provide services for over 1,000 people; increases funds for home and community based services, to allow over 2,850 seniors to age in place and approximately 1,800 people with disabilities to remain in their homes; launches a three-year managed care initiative to avoid unnecessary nursing home placements.Aid for victims of abuse and assault. This budget increases funding for Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis centers. By: Ted Dallas, Secretary of Human Services Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter BLOG: In the Compromise Budget, A Restoration of Human Services Fundinglast_img read more

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