UCOSA Taps into Reserve Fund
Stockton Duvall, UCOSA President, presents legislation to move money out of the Reserve Fund and put it to use on campus, for a conference and at the new International House during the UCOSA Congress meeting on Monday, Nov. 6 in the Nigh’s Will Roger’s Room. The legislation would take a total of $133,200 from the Reserve Fund. Congress members left to right, Kalina Popova, Vice Chair of Congress, Remington Dean, Chair of Congress, and Mario Figueroa, Secretary of Congress. (Cara Johnson/The Vista)
The University of Central Oklahoma Student Association passed several pieces of legislation last week that would pull money out of the Permanent Reserve Fund, which is made up of student activity fees that go unused each year.
The four financial resolutions would pull a total of $133,200 out of the Reserve Fund. The money would pay for a UCO Veterans Memorial, a stress reduction room, the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) next April and improvements to the International House, located off-campus at Central Plaza.
UCOSA President Stockton Duvall said he talked with representatives across campus from the Center for Counseling and Well-Being, Veteran Student Services (VSS) and International Student Council (ISC) on how to use the funds to improve campus. Duvall said during the UCO Student Congress meeting he was working to fulfill his campaign promise of using SAF money to benefit current students.
“While we definitely feel that the money that is in the Reserve Fund is paid in by students from years past, they are not benefitting from that money,” Duvall said. “So, we want to go ahead and put it in play for some of our organizations and offices on campus.”
CFR17-107 allotted $60,000 to the construction of a UCO veterans memorial, the highest projected amount of money out of all four proposed resolutions. Duvall said the money would be the initial start of the project, since he plans on working with the VSS in order to gain additional financial support.
VSS spokesman Brad Ward said having the memorial on campus will further UCO’s reputation of helping transition veterans into higher education.
“I think this memorial will help not only signify, but helps illustrate that the student body, as well as staff and faculty, are behind the student veteran population here on campus,” Ward said. “We are the only public institution that does not have one.”
The UCOSA held a tabling event where they surveyed 162 students about their thoughts on having student activity fees pay for the memorial, according to the Chair of UCO Student Congress, Remington Dean.
From the survey, about 87.7 percent of students felt that UCO should have a veterans monument on campus. The survey found that 61.1 percent of students supported using student activity fees to pay for the construction.
Another resolution, CFR17-106, allotted $20,000 for a stress-reduction room that would be located in the Nigh University Center. Center for Counseling and Well-Being Director, Julia Reed, said the room will have massage chairs and biofeedback stations for students. She said the plan is to have the room ready by January.
“Stress, anxiety and depression are all really high on our campus,” Reed said.
Reed said every two years UCO conducts the American College Health Association’s (ACHA) National College Health Assessment. The 2016 assessment had 655 respondents and showed some of the top academic impacts, or factors that affected performance, was stress at 28.8 percent, anxiety at 19.7 percent, work at 18.2 percent and depression at 14.9 percent.
The legislation, CFR17-104, passed for NCUR 2018 would pull for $35,000 out of the Reserve Fund for a sponsorship for the UCOSA that would secure speakers such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and John Herrington.
“It is a huge deal for our university,” Duvall said.
Duvall said the money would also go towards a luncheon for 25 students, Abdul-Jabbar and UCO President Don Betz. The sponsorship would also ensure tickets for speaking events that UCOSA could offer students.
“We will work with the Student Affairs Office to make sure that those are given out as fair a way as possible,” Duvall said. “With this sponsorship it allows us to give our students an opportunity to hear from these speakers that we would not be able to afford on our own. ”
The last resolution passed, CFR17-105, would pull $18,200 for International House additions, such as new ovens and a computer lab in Central Plaza so students do not have to walk to campus to access a lab, Duvall said.
All four pieces of legislation also received a “do pass” recommendation from the UCOSA Art Committee.
The passed legislation will need to receive signatures from UCOSA advisor Cole Stanley and Vice President of Student Affairs, Myron Pope, before money can be taken out of the Reserve Fund.