SGA hears Burlington’s cries

Every weekend, energetic and loud students make Burlington a lively college town.  However, voices from the Burlington community have asked that students give back to the city that hosts them. SGA Chair Mike Glynne recently proposed the Student Neighborhood Resolution to do just that. If passed, the resolution would compel and enable UVM students to contribute to Burlington through approved service projects and initiatives, Glynne said.”I’ve had more than four people already come up to me and ask about projects,” Glynne said.  Foremost among the ideas he heard were initiatives to build rose gardens and birdhouses within the Burlington community, he said.Glynne said that he hoped the new resolution would give potential activists the funding and encouragement they need to break ground on new projects. “All community members say is that ‘we want to see students out there doing something,'” he said. “We’re trying to give the community something they can see.” Visible indicators of student involvement would give UVM a better bargaining chip in community relations, he said.Several senators said that they applaud the spirit of the resolution but they are skeptical of its practical application and the management of funds.  “You’re going to have to keep track of these grants,” SGA Chair Tyler Wilkinson-Ray said. “You’re going to have to make sure that they’re being spent the way you want them to be spent.” The resolution accounts for the use of grants through careful monitoring and midway progress reports of funded projects, Glynne said.   There will be a $1,000 dollar budget cap on spending and most funds will come from student donations, Glynne said.  “We have gotten support from the top down,” Glynne said. Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss is also a firm supporter of increased activism and community relations on the part of UVM students, Glynne said.  The resolution’s most important attribute is its ability to empower individuals and make it a students’ bill rather than an organization’s initiative, Glynne said.SGA elected to wait to vote on the resolution.