SGA passes bills to support Quinn, flu clinics, Roots Garden, meal plans

Josie Barnes, Reporter

The Student Government Association passed four new bills at their last fall semester meeting Nov. 19. The Quinn Usage Act, Free Flu Clinic Support Act, Roots Garden Support Act and Meal Plan Reform Act were all passed.

The Quinn Usage Act is a safety net for students for the usage of Quinn Recreation Center facilities. Residence Hall Association Senator Ardeshir Pirzadeh said he wrote the bill because Quinn is used recreationally by students and for PE classes.

“It’s not to say that I don’t welcome varsity athletics using the facility, but I think there needs to be equal access to facilities,” Pirzadeh said. 

Aiyana Willoughby, sophomore class senator, wrote the Free Flu Clinic Support Act to help health services continue the free on-campus flu clinics and show SGA’s concern for students wellness.

Willoughby said last year, around 200 free flu shots were given out, and over 500 students were diagnosed with the flu. This year, App State has provided 628 free flu shots, and only 186 cases of influenza have been diagnosed so far. 

“This is my last semester (as) a part of SGA, so this is my final bill,” Willoughby said at the meeting. 

The Roots Garden Support Act, created by Devin Mullins, sophomore class senator, and Sam Gass, sophomore general senator, outlined SGA’s support of the Roots Garden and its impact on the community. Mullins said the bill was not a statement on whether it should be paved over or not, but to advocate for its importance to the student body and community. 

“The Roots Garden sets an example that Appalachian State University is concerned with sustainability, and that this is something that is important to us, and that paving over it for a 40-spot parking lot shouldn’t be something that we should be proud of,” Gass said.

Mullins said if the garden is paved over, App State could see an increase in food insecurity, and App State, local schools and clubs would not be able to use the garden for educational purposes and events. 

“It’s purely a matter of, right now, saying that what the Roots Garden is and how it is here on campus is a good thing, it’s a positive impact, and it has a positive impact on our community,” Mullins said.

Mullins said if the university does not create and maintain an open dialogue with students over the future of the Roots Garden, SGA hopes to fund or partially fund events to facilitate open dialogue. 

Michael Maldonado-Melgar, junior class senator, presented the Meal Plan Reform Act in hopes of passing the bill before the board of trustees meeting Friday because they are responsible for determining if new meal plans, changes to dining halls and menus, are possible.

“In order for us to show what our student population has been telling us for the last couple of years, which is to fix the food that we have on campus, I just thought that is was appropriate to get it done really quickly,” Maldonado-Melgar said.