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Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

SGA approves five new student organizations

Mercer University’s Student Government Association (SGA) recognized five new student groups as official campus organizations Sept. 24.

Be The Light

Be The Light is a volunteer tutoring program that has been in operation for about a year. Members help local children with homework in an after-school program in a local church from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday evenings.

Volunteers help with homework during the first hour and assist with serving the dinner provided by the church during the second hour, said Jordan Barnett, the Be The Light representative present at the meeting.

“I think the kids really enjoy it, having the extra help outside of school, especially with a lot of their parents still having to be at work and not being able to put the time into their homework, so I think it’s been very great for them,” Barnett said.

After Dean of Students Doug Pearson advised SGA to avoid approving “redundant” organizations, Junior Sen. Chase Peplin raised concerns that Be The Light’s mission was very similar to those of two existing tutoring programs, Bear Buds and Mercer Mentors.

“We actively try to avoid redundancy,” Peplin said. “I don’t necessarily have a problem with this being passed, but we’re supposed to be avoiding redundancy, just for the sake of efficiency.”

Student Life and Organizational Affairs Committee Chair and Junior Class President Emily Harvey said that Be The Light differs from Bear Buds as the latter has a strong focus on researching literacy rates.

Sophomore Class President Jadon Murad said Mercer Mentors is comprised of male students of color selected by the Student Support Services Office who are sent to Macon schools to work with men and boys.

Both of the existing tutoring initiatives take place in schools during the day, while Be The Light takes place in an after-school setting and is the only one that comes with a food component.

Freshman Sen. Harrison Ivens said that similarities between educational outreach organizations should not matter.

“As far as education goes, redundancy may be an issue, but I don’t think we can reach redundancy in education,” Ivens said. “It’s educating children, it’s service, and that’s really one of the biggest things we support here at Mercer is serving the community.”

The organization was approved unanimously by a voice vote.

The Bear Market

Sen. Harvey introduced The Bear Market.

“It’s not what it sounds like,” she said. “It’s not like Mulberry Market or anything like that. It is a very interesting and what I think is a needed organization on our campus.”

President and Founder Sachin Khurana said The Bear Market will be a quarterly business newsletter covering news in finance, economics and sports business. It will also cover general international news that pertains to these fields.

The Bear Market is not a marketplace for trade but a play on words, Khurana said. In economics, a bear market describes a period of time when stock prices fall and a market begins to spiral downward. Investors face serious losses, encouraging selling.

A member of several business organizations and a former member of SGA’s Fiscal Affairs Committee, Khurana said he is passionate about finance and did not see anything like The Bear Market on Mercer’s campus.

The organization was approved unanimously by a voice vote without discussion.

Gamma Iota Sigma

Gamma Iota Sigma is an international business fraternity for students of insurance, risk management and actuarial sciences, according to its website.

Sen. Harvey said the organization differs significantly from Mercer’s existing business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and that students can be a member of both groups.

President Matthew Paschal said the organization fits a specific need and would “complement” the new Risk Management and Insurance track offered for finance majors in the Stetson School of Business and Economics.

The organization was approved unanimously by a voice vote without discussion.

Mercer Pre-Dental Club

Grant Shelton, co-president, said the inspiration for the Mercer Pre-Dental Club came from a lack of resources for Mercer students interested in pursuing dentistry.

“My experience as a pre-dental student was mostly just finding seniors and juniors and sophomores above me that were pre-dental and asking them for help,” Shelton said. “This is basically an organization purely just to make that process easier as well as kind of expose students to dentistry as a whole and encourage collaboration with an orientation towards service.”

Shelton said the organization already has some events planned.

“It’s one of those things that was brought up and I was like, ‘why don’t we already have this?’” Harvey said.

The organization was approved unanimously by a voice vote without discussion.

The Association of Global Health

Sen. Harvey said former Heritage Life Committee Chair Ashila Jiwani began laying the groundwork for this organization last semester, the spring of her senior year, but graduated before the paperwork could go through.

“We really wanted to pick up where Ashila left off last year with the Association of Global Health,” President Lauren Caggiano said. “There’s not anything like this for the (International and Global Studies) department, and particularly for global health majors, and there’s a lot of us now. The major is rapidly growing.”

The Association of Global Health plans to promote awareness of global health disparities in Macon and internationally as well as provide information about the major.

The organization was approved unanimously by a voice vote.


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