SG Signature Programs

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) - SGA President, 03-04

Signature Program Category:Campus traditions, Homecoming events, Safe-ride program, Signature Programs
Signature Program Details:Signature Program #1: Safe-ride program
Student Government's premier program, SafeRide, is a program that allows students to call a cab and get a free ride home if they are not able to drive due to various reasons or just find themselves in an unsafe situation. Students across campus know and understand the importance of this program. At the beginning of the year and throughout, SGA informs students of the services available to them by SafeRide. Students are encouraged to sign up for a card, which allows them to take advantage of the program. SafeRide is well known and respected by the faculty, administration, and even the Board of Trustees. Many schools have issues enacting such a program due to the liabilities involved, but our entire university supports SGA. At this time, SGA is absorbing all expenses for the program, with the help of an annual contribution from Budweiser. The program has grown significantly since its infancy; at about $35,000 per year, it has not yet severely impacted our budget, however, there will come a time when this will be a very expensive venture. The SGA President has been working closely with the Assistant Vice-President for Institutional Advancement at the university. The goal is to set up an endowment that will eventually sustain all costs of the program. We have been gathering data as to when and where the activities occur, and will seek out those establishments for support. Other prospects such as Budweiser and alumni have been identified. "The SafeRide program has most likely saved lives, but at the very least, it has saved countless careers. We need to do all we can to ensure the financial longevity of the program, securing a named-endowment can help to accomplish this," said Matt Collier, SGA President.

Signature Program #2: Homecoming events
As freshmen arrive on campus, they are greeted by an information overload. Classes, registration, orientation and the sheer frustration of taking a giant leap from the comfort of home all cause for a lot of stress. As part of the orientation weekend, Student Government plans a great deal of activities to relieve some of the burden. Blast-off is an event that brings together all areas of campus life, and showcases the opportunities to get involved at Embry-Riddle. Greeks, clubs and organizations, and various departments within student life all come out to the university field house for an evening of fun and games. On the day before class starts, SGA hosts Afterburn, which is complimentary to the Blast-Off event. This is an event that showcases the Student Government Association; we have a BBQ, blow up games and other fun toys like a flight simulator. Touch-N-Go, the campus programming division of SGA, plans and executes one of the most well-known events each year, the Tom DeLuca hypnotist show. Faculty, staff, administration and students flock to our field house for one of the most exciting shows of the year. By the time orientation weekend is over, Student Government has spent nearly $10,000 to greet the freshmen and welcome the returnees. Also, Student Government plays a major role in the annual execution of the University's homecoming events. We sponsor a major act such as Sugar Ray, SR-71 or the Beach Boys to be the anchor of the weekend activities. Annually, SGA budgets between $50,000 to $75,000 towards homecoming events in general.

Signature Program #3: Campus traditions
Task Force One was developed in an attempt to accommodate the first-year student's overwhelming interest in Student Government. This is an executive council that will report directly to the SGA President, and be responsible for advising the SGA President on a variety of issues, planning and helping out with events, coming up with new ideas, and offering support for the day-to-day issues that Student Government deals with. Soon after it's inception, the Chancellor sent a directive to the Dean of Students to create a program known as the "four-year experience." The idea is to create four individual class councils in which each class can participate in projects and activities, and be advised by a department within Student Life. Student Government took an active role by helping to further develop the program and volunteering to interface Task Force One into the concept to serve as the Freshman Class Council, wish SGA advisement. "Student Government seemed like a natural choice to advise the freshman group because we can expose them to the various leadership and involvement opportunities across campus, and also, this is an excellent way for freshman to understand SGA and inspire them to run next year as Representatives," said Kurt Ford, SGA Vice President. With the guidance of the SGA President, this initial group of freshman is serving as the steering committee, spearheading the effort to create the structure and bylaws of their council. They are also taking an active role in campus programming. Besides planning a luau, TFO hosted the first organized game of capture the flag, undoubtedly one of the most successful recreational programs with over 70 people taking part! This will be a great way for Student Government to recruit manpower, brainpower, creativity, ingenuity and a plethora of other characteristics that can never come in too much abundance.