The Government of the Student Body approved a bill funding nearly $25,000 to improve the Student Organizations Database.
George Micalone, program coordinator at the Memorial Union, and Jeff Sorensen, manager of web development for Iowa State IT Services, attended the Feb. 13 meeting to discuss the bill called "Rewriting and Improving the Student Organizations Database."
Right now, the database is “solely an opportunity to list organizations, a little bit about them and for the students to view them,” Micalone said.
Rewriting and developing a new system will “change the current system from an administrative tool to a useful and functioning tool the organizations’ members and prospective members could use,” Sorensen said. “They wouldn’t have to have their own website because this would serve as that.”
The new system would make it so students can edit their own information and organize their group or club’s website without being an expert web developer.
“Only 40 percent of the student organizations have updated their current websites in the last year,” Micalone said.
The goal of the new program is to make it easier for organizations to keep track of attendance and group size, make it easier to keep and uphold an updated website, and be more user-friendly.
“We would make this site as a recruitment and retention tool,” Sorensen said. “A lot of people don’t know how to do that on their own.”
IT services would be paid $60 an hour while working on this project, which is their standard rate. Their competitor does this kind of work for $150 an hour.
The new system “ideally would be up and running this fall,” Sorensen said.
“I personally think we would be spending this money on other unnecessary things,” Senator David Pedersen said. “This is necessary — all student organizations would be benefitting from this.”
Most of the senators were in favor of funding this system, but many were unsure of the amount.
Senator Alex Knee was concerned about the Capital Projects Account balance. The bill would cost roughly $24,000 of the $46,000 balance.
“I think this is exactly what some Senate fee money should go towards because it supports the clubs,” said Senator Justin Pearson. “Future students would benefit as well.”
The “attendance-tracking/card swipe” aspect of the bill was also a popular topic of discussion among the senators.
Micalone explained that this would be something extremely beneficial to organizations at events such as Clubfest.
As opposed to students writing down their information, students would just swipe their card and that organization would have all of their contact information.
The bill was approved on a vote of 23-2-0.
The Senate also voted on and approved two other bills on Feb. 13.
“Funding VEISHEA 2013” provided funds of $9,500 for the rental of C.Y. Stephens Auditorium for the VEISHEA comedian, and also cover the cost for Mediacom to film the VEISHEA parade.
Mediacom will film the parade and air it twice in the following days, after which ISUtv will have rights to the footage.
Senator Knee opposed funding Mediacom. “I have a problem with paying Mediacom [because] students will have to pay Mediacom in order to view,“ Knee said. “Not all students will get to use this, and all students’ fee money is going towards this funding."
The GSB bylaws state that the events they fund must be free and open to all students. While students would have to pay for a Mediacom broadcast, once ISUtv has the footage, any student can view it.
This was funded from the GSB Events Account, and passed on a vote of 22-1-0.
“Funding the American Society of Civil Engineers Club” granted the American Society of Civil Engineers $3,000 to rent out Hilton Coliseum for the Midwest Regional Conference 2013 Steel Bridge Competition.
This is the first time since 2005 that Iowa State has been chosen to host this event. “This is an engineering school; it would be kind of a shame if we didn’t take our engineers back here,” Senator Matt Herman said while the bill was up for debate.
The GSB Finance Committee sent this bill unfavorably to the floor due to the fact that it is a group competition not directly aimed at all students.
“This is a good event for prospective students,” said Vice President Katie Brown. “This can be used as an advertisement for Iowa State.”
The bill was passed on a 23-2-0 vote.