In the Thick of Things

SGA is smack in the middle of a busy time…we urge you to come and tell us any challenges students can fix at Hood! Our NEW email is If you want to post on the LED Electronic Message sign in Whitaker, then email us with all of the information and we will get it up there for you!

A few things to update everyone on:

1. We are working on a respect and honor initiative that will carry on for the years to come. We believe that respect and honor are two key components to Hood, along with the four pillars. We are exciting to get this moving. If you want to be a part of this initiative, there is a meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21 in AD 122 with our Campus Services committee, which is taking the lead on this project.

2. We do have a student on the first-year seminar pilot committee and they have approved 13 first-year seminar classes. Though they are approved, changes can still be made. All classes are optional to take for incoming first-year’s this upcoming 2012-2013 school year.

3. The President’s Roundtable was last week and it was very successful. Area Coordinator Danielle Weaver presented a fantastic leadership exercise, where a timeline was written by each leader to figure out what legacy you will leave. We will have another one of these in the near future, so keep an eye out.

4. SGA is having its first fundraiser! This WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22 from 5-8 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings. There is the Blazin’ Hot Challenge, which is a competition where you must eat 12 of BWW’s hottest wings in six minutes. If you want to do it, or have a faculty/staff member in mind for it, email so we can sign you/them up!

We are still working on reviving a Hood Tradition, it seems like Big Sib/Little Sib is a popular one, and we are going to be working with the Dean in trying to make that happen. If you have any more input on a tradition, let me know at or in the comments here!

There will be some exciting news this upcoming week about a project that SGA will be presenting…hope you all are waiting to hear for it!  Thanks for reading!

Doug Raftery

Speak Up Hood College…SGA Has Your Back


Second Semester Rolling Along: Highlights include Coblentz Renovations, Organization Budget Increases, Hood Tradition Revival

This is the first blog that I have not had to write because of class…I promise that they will come once a week after this. We have just started to get things rolling. Quite a few updates for all to be aware of.

First off, I want to say that I am extremely happy the way the first semester went. Check out the last post before this one if you have yet to see our accomplishments.

– SGA was thrown right into things during our first week of school, as President Volpe, Chuck Mann, and Lovetta Corson-Morgan came to us asking for advice. Hood College has tentative plans to change the look of Coblentz Dining Hall. This will include the cashier being further inside so the line doesn’t go outside during lunch/dinner time. It is possible there will be two swipe sections. Some changes inside Coblentz include: having two stations where the salad/sandwich making stations are now, but they will be changed to pizza making and salad making. There will be workers at the both of those who will be able to make a custom-made pizza/salad for you, although there will be already made ones if you need to get out of the dining hall quickly. The conveyor belt will be removed and tables will be added. The belt will be inserted where the drinks are right now on the left side. Drinks will still be on the right side and also outside where the new stations are located. These plans were supported by SGA and will allow students to enjoy Coblentz a lot more.

– There will also be changes to the Blazer area. The grill area will still be there, but a new franchise called Freshies will be inserted there. The area will be renovated. There will also be another up-scaled coffee shop placed in the library. The SGA supported this and recommended that all four floors of the library be open, although a librarian is not needed in our opinion. The Blazer area may be updated this summer, but it has not been decided if it is feasible at this time. Either way, it will be updated in the summer of 2013. Exciting news.

– The Student Government Association is here for the students. Therefore, we advocate for our students. Programming has been limited, as we have increased organizations by double digits in the past two years. We have exhausted our budget the last two years as well. Because of that, Tyler Fairley and his Finance Committee sat down with CFO Chuck Mann and presented a budget increase of $37,500. The presentation to him was professional, and because of that, Tyler will be presenting our proposal to the Planning and Budgeting committee. This is great, because it is the first time in many years, and possibly the first time ever, that a student has presented to that committee. We are excited and grateful for the opportunity. If we do receive the money, it will be breaking and exciting news for all campus organizations, classes, and residence halls.

– SGA is in the midst of some internal changes, and we are going to be making our final recommendations in late-February or the beginning of March to the students. Some of these changes will affect how things are run on this campus, and we believe we are creating positive change in doing so. More info to come out on that.

– There is a student representative, Katie Hays, our Academic Affairs Chair, on the first-year seminar pilot program that has been introduced by the faculty and Provost. We are excited to have a representative on that and are happy that the students will have a voice when it comes to decisions being made in that regard.

– In other news, SGA is looking to revive a Hood Tradition that has been lost. Does anyone have recommendations?

– I am looking to present a Last Lecture at the end of my presidency, as I have been through many experiences, and I want to pass them off to others. More information will come out about this, but I look for everyone’s support in attending this later in the school year.

I know…a long update. That is what has been going on, and there is plenty more to talk about in the next post. Our next SGA Senate meeting is Valentines Day, February 14th at 9 p.m. Hope to see people who love Hood come and talk about what they think we should be working on.

Sincerely, Your Student Body President,

Doug Raftery

Speak Up Hood College, SGA Has Your Back



The 15 Semester Highlights of SGA; Semester Recap, Looking Forward

Wow, it has been one semester already. It is amazing how quickly it seems time goes by. In mid-October, I was hoping this day would come. Now that it has, I realize that SGA has one semester remaining to create positive change on this campus. We did a lot this first semester, althought it may not seem like it to the general student. Change must come in certain amounts, so from 1-15, here is what we did and found out the first semester:

1. Made the first-ever Hood SGA webpage and planted our faces and committees in The Blue and Grey

2. Found out that bike racks will be put on campus that have covers on them

3. Had a dining services ‘Hot Topic’ and brought back the to-go dinner boxes with some help

4. Put our voices out there in resolutions about Campus Safety blue safety lights and Computer Upgrades through IT. We also urged students to speak up against criminal activity, which is a work in progress

5. Had students come to us asking for help within their organizations, alternative spring break trip, and new athletic center fitness center policy and hours. Our Black Student Union came to a Senate meeting and presented challenges to us about tutors and roommate preference forms that we are still working on

6. Were able to tell the students that Price Auditorium had asbestos removed from it before anyone could report it

7. Had a review of Policies for Dollars and will look at changes for that next year, especially in the Jeopardy department

8. Chuck Mann presented the school budget to us and broke down where our money is going, so if you ever complain about how expensive Hood is and how the money is spent, you would know where it goes if you were at that

9. Celebrated President Volpe’s 10-year anniversary as being President of the college (congrats!)

10. Had two spirit days, which fulfilled our semester goal. One was blue and grey day, the other class color/dink day

11. Took arguably the most courageous stance any SGA at Hood has ever taken on the Core Curriculum. Due to our voice, we believe that the faculty heard us and implemented only a two-year pilot program of the first-year seminar, which we first voted against by a vote of 2-9-0

12. Put on the most successful Holiday Dinner to date in my four years, with a free giveaway (cups!) that everyone loved, an ugly sweather contest that produced many hits and likes on our facebook page, and video montage in the dining hall

13. Extended library hours the week before and of finals until 1:30 a.m. We will see how much it was used and also look into if it is worth extending library hours during future semesters

14. We are going through possibly the largest structural change in SGA history with our senate because we noticed communication challenges between our Executive Board and Senate memebers. We want everyone to be involved…this is an ongoing process.

15. Received confirmation that there will be a student representative on the space utilization committee (gambrill downstairs, house across the street we purchased, Price Auditorium, etc.) and there will be student involvement in the Director of CARR and Director of Student Success and Outreach searches.

As you can see, there has been a lot accomplished in four months, and many of these are the ‘material’ things that people see. There have been talks in Exec and Senate of IQ Web, blackboard (which we understand is a big challenge and will be taking it by the horns next semester), co-programming, and a respect this campus campaign.

This blog was started because I had to write it for my online journalism class. I have been overwhelmed by the support (somehow this blog got over 1500 views, averaging more than 75 per post), and because of that, I will continue this next semester.

Next semester, I am looking forward to some eye-popping events and talks because this is a very strong SGA board. I see the game room coming up next semester, additions of new clubs that could change this campus entirely, and much more.

Until next semester, have a fantastic break, rest up and enjoy yourself. – Speak Up Hood College…SGA Has Your Back


Working with Administrators, Vandalism on Campus

My second-to-last post of the semester will focus on working with administrators/staff, because I have learned how to deal with people who I might not work with best. Also, there has been vandalism on campus again recently, and it is getting out of hand, so I want to write a little bit about that.

As I started my first year at Hood, I wasn’t involved in any activities other than the newspaper in high school. I wrote a couple of articles to chip in and that is it. When I came to Hood, I was able to get involved right away because of Dr. Ted Chase, who many of you probably know. I have worked with the 2012 class council, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Student’s Providing Understanding and Resource’s (SPURs), a secret group called Trail Blazers for a little while, and of course, SGA. I have met with every important administrator/staff member on this campus, although I don’t see eye-to-eye with some.

The biggest thing when it comes to working with someone you don’t like Continue reading

Library Hours Extended for a Period Thanks to SGA’s Work

For the past three and a half years, SGA has been pushing for longer library hours. We have finally moved in the right direction, even if it is for only two weeks. If library hours can’t be extended throughout the regular school year, at least they are during finals time. I want to thank everyone in SGA for making this possible. We heard the students, advocated for you, and we were listened to. Here is the following library schedule:

Open as a study hall (no book check-out or reference assistance) from 9:30 until 1:30 a.m.,  Sunday through Thursday nights of this coming week (December 5th-8th) and also Finals Week (December 12th-15th).

As this semester comes to an end, my next two posts will be important. My next post will be about the need to work hand-in-hand with administration and other resources. I have come to the point in my college career where I have realized some things that may surprise many of you. Also, my last post will be a reflection of the semester and what to look forward to next semester (which includs a few surprises as well, some being controversial).

P.S. – On a personal note, I will be broadcasting my first Division I basketball game at The Mount tomorrow (Monday) at 7 p.m. I’m excited about this. I will also be traveling on most road games for Hood’s women’s and men’s basketball teams, including winter break. This is going to provide me with more experience to reach my career goal.

Speak Up Hood College…SGA Has Your Back

Holiday Dinner On Wednesday, Dec. 7; Other Updates

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving break. It is almost time for the Holiday Dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 7. The dinner will go from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This year, there are some new, exciting things that Secretary Jennifer Bentz came up with. There will be an ugly sweater contest between all students. Each student will take a picture with Hood’s mascot, Blaze, while holding up a number. These pictures will be posted on SGA’s Facebook page for students to like and comment on. The winner will receive a nice prize.

There will also be a FREE giveaway for all who attend the Holiday Dinner, the first time that has ever been done in Holiday Dinner history.

Students coming back from Winter Break will also come back to something cool in Whitaker. An LED message sign has been ordered to try and limit flyers. All SGA-sponsored events will be eligible to be put up information on this sign. There are some kinks to be worked out, but I wanted to give everyone a heads up.

SGA is in the middle of reconstructing the constitution, as we have seen a communication issue between the Senate and Executive Board. We will be starting up fresh next semester in hoping that topics of concern get fixed a lot quicker.

Speak Up Hood College…SGA Has Your Back

What Everyone’s Been Waiting For: SGA Stance, Statement on Proposed Core Curriculum

This post will be the stance of SGA regarding the proposed core curriculum. I will be giving a State of the Union next Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. in Whitaker Campus Commons to expand on what is going on with the core curriculum. I urge all students to attend. If you have any questions about the stance, please don’t hesitate to comment or email Our stance will be published in the paper along with the statement that follows below:

Continue reading