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While continuing to provide students with free busing through the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, wellness services with BayCare and on-site food pantries, this year student government leaders at St. Petersburg College put a bigger emphasis on mental health and wellness.

Every year at SPC, the Student Government Association groups receive a portion of student activities funds to help support enriching activities and initiatives for their locations and students.

SGA leaders from the individual chapters presented plans for those funds for the upcoming year to SPC officials, including President Dr. Tonjua Williams, on Friday, September 27. Using five pillars to guide them—student success, health and wellness, leadership development, diversity and service—the SGA leaders put together well thought out and unique presentations that were well received.

All locations expressed how important they felt Project HEAL—a collaborative infrastructure at SPC targeting suicide prevention and mental health and substance abuse awareness—is and plan on adding events to help with mental health and wellness. The SGA for the Caruth Health Education Center plans to include self-care initiatives while student leaders for the Clearwater Campus want to add more events that incorporate meditation and yoga. Clearwater SGA leaders agreed that if you “feel well, you will do well,” and they want to support the mental and physical well-being of their peers across campus.

“I had the chance to talk to a student who was using the food pantry [at Seminole] and it was so encouraging,” said Dr. Williams, commending the SGA students for their continued dedication to supporting everyone at their campuses.

Student Success

Student success was also a very important initiative for the SGA leaders. While all SPC locations find it highly beneficial for students to have access to tutors, a few campuses came up with other innovative ways to help increase student success.

The Midtown and Downtown centers have found it valuable to host “Meet Your Professor” events and plan to continue hosting them throughout the 2019–2020 academic year. Several SGA chapters will also host student award ceremonies to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their fellow SPC students.

Diversity and Community Service

In addition to enhancing student success, diversity and community service projects were big topics from all locations.  Each SGA chapter is very proud of the diversity on their campuses and plan on hosting events for Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month, International Education week, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Women’s History Month, Pride and Greek Independence Day.

Each campus had several different community services that they support including the Habitat for Humanity, RCS Food Bank, Keep Pinellas Beautiful and the St. Petersburg Free Clinic. Some campuses have service events that are unique to their campus, including Honeymoon Island beach clean-ups and Holiday Blessings, which are food baskets that the Midtown Center puts together.

Budget Allocation

The SGA budget is split among the locations based on student semester hours at each campus. The Downtown Center received an increase in their funds and their SGA leaders are very pleased to be able to further ensure success for students. Student groups and clubs can also request funds for their events through SGA by explaining the budget and providing quotes either online or in-person to a member of the SGA. Campuses have allocated funds for new clubs throughout the 2019–2020 academic year.

Budget Breakdown:

  • Allstate: $77,887.09
  • Clearwater: $195,820.31
  • Downtown: $46,653.45
  • Health Education Center: $124,284.00
  • Midtown: $46,653.45
  • Seminole: $142,053.00
  • St. Pete/Gibbs: $169,896.00
  • Tarpon Springs: $150,250.17

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