SGA discusses award show and new position

by Martha Schick / Beacon Staff • February 27, 2014

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Student Government Association allocated $16,540 to the Emerson Recognition and Achievement Awards.

The ERA Awards honor SGA-recognized organizations at an awards show every year. 

Dennis Connors, president of ERA and a junior performing arts major, said the organization has already paid for the space for the April 13 ceremony at the Courtyard Marriott, where it has been held in the past several years. According to its appeal packet, ERA provided $20,929.50, the remainder of the total needed. According to Connors, the ERA Awards doesn’t receive a FAB packet, but works with Student Activities for its funds. 

Last year’s appeal from ERA was for $15,154, according to SGA treasurer and senior visual and media arts major John Dentinger. The reason for the $1,386 increase, Connors said during the meeting, is the addition of new multimedia features and required equipment. According to the appeal packet, one of these additions will be a video shown during the ceremony.

“We’re going to be creating an eight-minute video that shows off all the achievements around campus and from specific Emersonians and organizations,” Connors said.

According to Connors, there will not be paper programs at the ERA awards for the first time. Instead, attendees will receive an emailed PDF. Connors said that this will allow them to make the program as long as they want without environmental or cost concerns. 

There is $48,236 left in the appeals budget.

During the meeting, SGA also unanimously approved sophomore marketing communication major Janelle Levesque as the GLBT commissioner during its Tuesday meeting. She ran unopposed.

“When I came to Emerson, one of the great things was that it was so gay-friendly and so accepting of everyone,” said Levesque, who identifies as a lesbian, in a brief speech during the meeting. “I really enjoyed that, but I wanted to make sure we’re still stressing that.”

Emerson was ranked the most-friendly college to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities in the country by the Princeton Review last year.

In her application, Levesque said that she would like to focus on getting Emerson involved with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual homeless youth through organizations like the Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Youth and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.

She said in the meeting that a personal goal of hers is to have more gay sex education in the college, starting with more floor programs addressing queer-specific issues.

Levesque spoke of her experience as a member of Emerson’s Alliance for Gays, Lesbians, and Everyone — a student organization that provides information and support for Emerson’s LGBTQ community — as a strength in both her application and the meeting.

Levesque said during the meeting that although she values her time at EAGLE, a position on SGA will give her more opportunities for outreach in both the Emerson and Boston communities. In her application, she said she would like to be a bridge from EAGLE to SGA, making SGA aware of the needs of the LGBTQ community.