Wellness initiatives: SGA funds still available

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In September, SGA vice president Jaisel Patel outlined his goals for the Wellness Fund – SGA’s purse for students who wish to start a project to benefit mind, body or spirit.

“My biggest goal for this year,” he said in the fall, “is to make sure that students are aware of this wellness initiative. If they have a great idea that benefits either mind, body or soul, I want them to bring those proposals to us so that we can bring those goals to life.”

At its weekly meeting on Jan. 28, the SGA Senate saw two such ideas come to life: the Free to Be feminism campaign and the Cold Winter/Warm Heart initiative.

Free to Be is the brainchild of SLU students Annie Cameron, Renee Richter and Liz Vestal. Their idea was to create a week of events – complete with guest speakers and a dance party – to help promote what they see as feminism’s greatest attribute: equality of all people.

“It started from this idea that the idea of feminism kind of has negative connotations, just on SLU’s campus, and that this idea of equality of all persons should really be something that SLU is embracing,” Cameron said in the proposal to the senate. “And so, we thought that the best way to convey this idea was to start this sort of grassroots movement that would take shape in the form of a week of events, and it’s called Free to Be.”

“Our definition of feminism that we’re trying to promote is the equality of all people,” Vestal added.

In addition to the Free to Be proposal, which passed, SGA also heard a request for funding for Cold Winter/Warm Hearts, a group of SLU law students who asked for $1,000 to provide kits full of winter essentials to the homeless; this proposal was also approved.

“How can we get students to give to the homeless?” SLU student Andrew Sullivan asked the Senate in his presentation. Sullivan and some of his friends came up with the idea for homeless kits.

“What if we provided everything for the students so that they could make the kits themselves, write a … letter [to put into the kit], and then, later on, go out themselves to the homeless shelter – to make it really personal,” Sullivan said. “The more direct [goal] in this project is to help students build solidarity with those most in need,” he added.

Both Wellness Initiatives passed senate approval, but wellness funds are still available.

“If we run out of funds … that’s an awesome thing because we’re utilizing those funds that students are already paying,” Patel said in September.

The SGA Senate meeting also saw the Irish Student Guild lose its SGA charter.