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MUSC Student Government Association

February 19th Meeting Minutes


Damon Amella, Instructional Technology and Faculty Resources:  We make an orientation video for the new students that are coming in and we try to jam pack it with information.  We have this idea to utilize students for a lot of the on camera stuff.  I am here today to ask you if you know anyone who has had on camera experience or natural in front of the camera, we are wanting to use them for testimonials from anything from CAE, OEM, CAPS, SH, etc. We also need 2 co-anchors to take us through the video.  They would have a script and teleprompter.  If you know someone who would want to do it and be dynamic on camera give their names to Kevin.  We will probably be making some more videos out of this as well.   If any of you are interested in the future on doing on camera stuff, I do have a 30-40 minute presentation about tips for on camera, anything from how to do your hair, accessorizing, how to speak, etc.  It’s a fun presentation.  If any of you are interested, let Kevin know and I would be happy to present that to you.

Dr. Burnham:  What is your timeline for recording?

Damon Amella:  I need names by the end of next week. We are already working with pre-production.  We are looking for a diverse crowd, male, female, anybody.  This has to be done by May.

Rebeca Mueller, Director of International Student Support:  I work for the Center of Global Health.  A new travel policy was approved on December 16th.  This includes new rules that affect students especially.  Anyone traveling on University business, whether it be faculty, staff, students, trainees, you have to register on the new International SOS website.  If you are planning on going on any kind of trip that is work-related in anyway, you need to sign up.  If you have questions about whether your trip is University-related, please email me.  When you register on International SOS, you will need your travel itinerary, flights, name, contact information, and college information.  This will just take about 5-10 minutes.  The first thing you need to ask yourself is: Is the country I am traveling to under a travel warning? If so, you have to go through another process. 

If not, register on International SOS, fill out a safety plan, general waiver, and ensure your health insurance coverage. If you are covered under the MUSC policy, you are covered, period. If you are covered by your parents’ policy, call the insurance company and make sure you are covered in the country you are going to.  Check your department of state and CDC website and make sure you have correct immunizations and start ahead of time for that.  It’s good to start 3 months out.  You also need to submit a copy of your passport. 

If you are planning on going to a country under a travel warning, you will need to come up with a petition or plan for your travels and submit it to the office.  We will work with Risk Management and Education and Student life and decide whether you should be going or not.  If it is not approved, you have to take a leave of absence from the school if you still want to go.  If travel is approved, the same process for general travel is followed, but instead of the general waiver, you will sign off on the high risk waiver, which includes a few extra steps.

The 3 main things on your checklist should be:  Register with International SOS, complete the safety plan, complete waiver with a faculty advisor signature approving travel. In addition, as part of signing off on the waiver, students are required to submit a copy of their passport.

Jill Hubbuch:  Do medical mission trips with MUSC faculty that are not associated with MUSC count?

Rebeca Mueller: yes.

Stephen Thompson:  If you are a student and you are not considered a part of any student group, does that count?

Rebeca Mueller:  Yes.


Old Business

Reading of the February 5th meeting minutes:  approved

New Business

Allocations Request – 2nd read:  To clarify, the amount the group is asking for is $900.

Pro/con Discussion:

Phil Sobolesky:  Is this the situation where we are donating money that will then be donated to the organization? 

Holly Berry:  We told them that they are not allowed to do that and they will not use the money for donations.  They are using it for t-shirts.

Regina Brown:  Camp Happy Days is a local organization.  It’s not only a week long camp in the summer where the kids don’t pay for anything, but they also create an uplifting environment throughout the year.  It is a great organization for kids to be with other kids with cancer.  The guys planning the event are really serious about it. One was a counselor at the camp this summer. They still have a few spots left for teams.  They want 1 or 2 more teams for an even bracket.  There is a lot of support from our college for the event. 

The allocations request was passed. 

MUSC-CofC Merger:  The bill was written and released 2 weeks ago tomorrow.  They called us to have a meeting with Dr. Sothmann on Tuesday.  We ended up having a conference call due to cancelled classes.  We asked for your help and got a lot of responses from SGA for input.  We received 40 emails in response to this merger in one night.  About 37-38 of those email were is opposition to the merger.  On Wednesday, we met with Dr. Sothmann and chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT).  We found out that they were impressed with the feedback from students and are on same page as us. The Faculty Senate (FS) released a survey and passed a resolution opposing the bill.  We followed their lead and created a survey.  We received 100 responses in 5 minutes and we are now at 1200 responses.  We are impressed by the turnout of the responses.  The results of the survey were: 89% opposed to the merger and 65% support collaboration, working together as separate entities.  CDM and COM had half of their student body vote.  With the survey results we formed a resolution for the BOT meeting. Stephen and I proposed the resolution at the meeting and showed them the results.  The BOT voted unanimously against the bill except one who abstained because he was the brother of the bill writer.  The FS and BOT are opposed. I’ve meet with the CofC SGA president and secretary and they feel the same way.  The CofC FS approved an opposing resolution last night.  The only responses we don’t know is the CofC BOT, who are meeting in March.  We are thinking about things we need to do to let the student body know about what is going on.  An email will be sent out the student body tonight with information that we just talked about.  We are going to create pre-typed formal letters with reasons for opposition and have students sign them and distribute them to the legislatures as well as a letter from the CofC and MUSC SGA president.  It is out of our hands now.  If they want to pass it, they can do it.  Right now, we are trying to attack it head on and reach out to legislature to see if they are willing to listen to us and make sure our voice is heard.

Stephen Thompson:  I went to Columbia today with Presidential Scholars and we spoke to them about the matter.  They sounded optimistic that this was going to die.  They say that representatives are slowly starting to retract their support from it.  People sound supportive and have the same sentiments.  If you are a citizen of SC, go to their website with your drivers license number and it will tell you who your reps are so that you can contact them with your opinions. 

Jake Al Sarraf:  What are the reasons for the 3-5% who are positive for the merger?

Danny Vo:  Some reason for being positive about a collaboration or merger include increased ability to teach and mentor undergrads.  Most people are in opposition and believe it will hurt MUSC.

Kayla Hill:  Some students have said that they are for the merger if student tuition would be decreased from the combined funds of undergraduate tuition dollars, but there is nothing to back this.  It is just a speculation.

Jake Al Sarraf:  I think it would be best to know what the main advantages are for MUSC because I think a lot of people don’t know.

Danny Vo:  It isn’t really clear what the impact is.  The finances haven’t really been discussed. 

SGA Resolution sponsored by Regina Brown.

Benson Langdon:  If we say no to a merger, this doesn’t mean that there is no chance for a merger or collaboration in the future.  I think we should pass the resolution unanimously. 

Danny Vo:  For now we are voting on the resolution based on the facts within this resolution.

Phil Sobolesky:  If you want to know more about the reasons you should read the white paper. It lays out point for point what was discussed.  This is not a new concept. 

Deidre Tindal:  My college roommate is at Augusta which merged and it’s been a difficult transition, a nightmare for the faculty, and tens of millions of dollars spent on signage.

Frankie Dupperault:  COP is already merged with USC.  We don’t use a lot of technology that you guys do.  There are communication breaks, technology breaks.

Charlene Gravgaard:  It’s been 8 years but they have not yet created a tenure system. 

Substitute Rep:  We are also merged with Greenville hospital system. 

Dr. Shaw:  I think that Danny and Stephen have done a great job in answering questions.  This came about from the Chamber of Commerce.  We are among the fastest growing areas in the US and they were comparing Charleston to other fast growing cities such as Austin.  What Austin has going that Charleston does not, is a comprehensive research university.  Merging does not create a comprehensive research university.  They want to deliver Ph.D.’s in computer science, logistics, management, etc.  We buy into the end product that we do need to produce those degrees, but the merger that is proposed does not meet that end.

Charlene Gravgaard:  Have alumni voiced an opinion?

Dr. Shaw:  From informal conversations with alumni and donors we have heard that they are opposed and concerned about losing the MUSC brand, which would set us back.

Danny Vo:  I spoke with the MUSC alumni board president and they are meeting this Saturday. 

Substitute Rep:  Alumni from SCCP say it’s hard to get money from MUSC alumni.   They don’t connect with SCCP as their alma mater. Someone should have her explain the differences she has seen.

Dr. Shaw: Our VP for development is vocal around those issues.  He gave a nice presentation to the BOT pointing out issues.

Phil Sobolesky:  I have a language question about collaboration.  There can be formal collaborations.  It says including collaboration.  Do we want to define that we mean non-formal collaboration?

Stephen Thompson:  The way it is written is meant as two distinct entities.

Phil Sobolesky: It seems to me that we’re opposing forced mergers and opposing any forced collaboration.  I motion to insert the word “informal” in front of collaboration.

Motion passed.  

Pro  vs con:

Toya Williams:  What is the significance of the word informal?

Phil Sobolesky:  We could be forced to collaborate so I want to specify that it is not a formal enforced collaboration.

Jill Hubbuch:  Can PhD’s be granted in an informal collaboration?

Dr. Shaw:  We can grant a PhD because we are a PhD granting institution.  CofC would not be able to grant a PhD.

Jill Hubbuch: Does it matter if it is informal versus formal?

Phil Sobolesky:  Look at it this way.  This is just a suggestion.  We are not writing legislation. 

Sarah Guberman:  Can we say mutually agreed upon? I motion to amend from “informal” to “mutually agreed upon”

Amendment passed unanimously.

Benson Langdon:  I motion to vote.

The resolution was passed unanimously.

Dr. Shaw:  Congratulations to you. From start to finish, we have been impressed. We are in concert with your thoughts, but even if we were at odds, we would be very impressed.

Leonardo Gonzalez: Could you send out the stats with your email?

Danny Vo:  Yes.

Charlene Gravgaard:  I wouldn’t mind volunteering in the library and have people come by to send drafted emails to their legislatures. 

Danny Vo:  We will meet to discuss this and get back to you.  We appreciate any help that you can provide. 

Dana Nebergall: The anesthesia class went to legislation day and they said they get 300 emails a day and they didn’t even read them.

Jill Hubbuch:  I asked our dean what would be best.  We were told to write letters.  They count the letters even if they don’t read them.  Ask your deans what you should do.  Maybe come up with a petition?

James Atkison:  If anyone wants to do a petition, make sure that everyone is on the same page about the petition.  We don’t want it to be like the graduation petition that was put together last semester with a lot of confusion.  We would like to write one up that would put all interest groups on the same page. 

Danny Vo:  We will keep you updated.  When we meet with the CofC SGA we will unite with one message and we are going to create one petition for both student bodies.  Petitions are floating around on Facebook right now, mostly from CofC.  We are going to try to do it in a professional manner. Please email me any ideas you may have.   

SGA Officer Elections:  Campaign packets are available in the Student Programs Office.  Applications are due Friday, February 28th at 5pm in the Student Programs Office.  Elections will be held from 8:30am Thursday, March 27th through 5pm Friday, March 28th.  Please ask us any questions you may have. 

Safety Walk:  The safety walk will take place on Tuesday, February 25th from 5-7:30pm.  We will be meeting in EL109.  Food will be provided.  We will be split up into groups to visit 5 areas of campus to check safety issues such as lighting or broken, unsafe areas.  Please consider participating because this is beneficial for the campus and you.

Student parking: March 24th – 26th.  An email will be sent out with directions and rankings for when you can register. 

Please send all future college and organizational reports to Nancy at

Reps (2) to clean up after meeting:  Jake Al Sarraf and Regina Brown


New Business

Night at the Halsey:  We have an upcoming cultural event on February 21st at Halsey Gallery from 6-8pm.  It is at the Halsey, which is an art museum on CofC’s campus, located on 161 Calhoun Street.  Invite your classes to the Halsey.  If people ask what it is, tell them it is an Art Walk around the Halsey.  It was really fun last year, and I want this year to be bigger.  Sign up reminders will go out tomorrow.  You need your ID if you are planning on drinking wine.

Fat Tuesday in the Horseshoe:  Tuesday, March 4th from 11:30-1:15pm in the Horseshoe to celebrate Fat Tuesday.  There will be beads, lots of food, and performers.  There will be specialty beads if you bring $2 or 2 can food items.  There will be workers spots for this event. Worker spots will go out at 5:30pm tomorrow.  There will be 13 spots and most of those will be handing out beads.  This event and Alhambra are the last chances for you to get your worker spots for the semester.  If you have any concerns about making your worker spots, let me know so I can send you the email earlier.  The theme for Alhambra will be 80’s. There will most likely be a bright tank top of some sort. 

Heather Spain:  What is the date for Alhambra?

Stephen Thompson:  April 12th.

Regina Brown:  It is the day after Relay for Life.

Valentine Piano Concert:  Tomorrow, February 20th at noon. Bring your lunch and enjoy free music at the HCC lobby. 


New Business

Constitutional Review – 2nd Read:

  • Bill 14-01:  Added “See Appendix A for the algorithm used to determine the number of representatives from each college.”
  • Bill 14-02:  We are striking out “One of the required work events must include a cleanup detail.” Since we have so many worker spots, this is not necessary anymore.
  • Bill 14-03:  We are removing “Elections Committee” and replacing it with “Student Programs Office” since we do not have an elections committee anymore.
  • Bill 14-04: This is a technical amendment to change the wording from “Any officer running for re-election will not be able to participate in the election process” to “Any current Executive Officer running for an executive position will not be able to participate in the election management process.”
  •  Bill 14-05:  We made a similar amendment to Bill 14-04 by changing the language for the President as well to say “ running for an executive position”.
  • Bill 14-06:  To make things consistent with the website and the name of the form we are replacing “SGA Funds Request From” to “Allocations Request Form”.
  • Bill 14-07: In #3, we are condensing the information to say “SGA funds cannot be used to make a direct monetary donation, pay dues, or purchase individual memberships to professional organizations.”  In #4, we are clarifying how often groups can apply for money and we also removed the language “particular event”, so that it now reads, “A group may only receive funds for a particular event no more than two consecutive years.” 

Sumeen Maur:  I motion to amend to a recognized student group may only receive funds for 2 consecutive years.

James Atkison:  So we are basically changing it to recognized and taking out particular event.

Amendment passed unanimously.

All bills are passed unanimously.


New Business

Blood Drive:  Thursday, February 20th in the HSC gym from 11am – 4pm.  There will be a 1 hour minimum sign up spot.  You can do all 3 hours that day if you want.  There will be more events to make up your hours.  Sign-ups will be sent out on February 6th for the shifts.  For the college with the highest percentage of donors, there will be a drawing for an Alhambra ticket package.

Fat Tuesday Lowcountry Food Bank Collection:  Tuesday, March 4th in the Horseshoe.  Signups will be sent out on Tuesday, February 25th for 1 hour spots.  There will also be signups for promoting the event in the Horseshoe on Monday, March 3rd.

Kids Run:  Friday, April 4th for 4 hours

Relay for Life:  Friday, April 11th for 4 hours


Website update: Worker and service hours have been updated.  Please let me know if I made any mistakes so I can make sure to give you credit for your efforts.

Intramurals:  Kevin Smuniewski

Indoor Soccer:  no report

College and Organizational Reports

MUSC Gives Back – Liz Sheridan: The student blood drive challenge is coming up on February 20th from 11am-4pm at the Harper Student Center gym.  You can sign up for an appointment at with the sponsor code MUSC.  The appeal for blood is currently in our area of the country due to the bad weather and the flu depleting supplies.  Please try to be a blood donor or tell someone else to donate if you are willing to do so.

Student Programs – Dr. Willette Burnham: Last noon day lecture for Black History Month is next Wednesday in BSB 100. 

Toya Williams:  Will the missed lectures be made up?

Dr. Burnham: No.

Dental – The 4th years are looking for patients for their licensure exam in the spring.  They will be screening patients for free and they will fill your cavity for free.  Screenings take place Monday through Thursday, 5-7pm.  Patients must be 18 years old and can be anyone, not just students.  For further questions, email or ask one of us!

Graduate Studies

Health ProfessionsKristin Dickman:  Mr. MUSC is going to be a Wolfe St. Theater on February 20th at 7pm.  We have contestants from 6 different schools (PA, OT, CON, COM, CGS, and CDM).  Tickets will be on sale in the library tomorrow at lunch.  Tickets will be $12 presale and $15 at the door and will be divided up evenly among colleges.  Penny wars will start on February 5th and will be set up in the library.  All proceeds go to the Cutting Edge Foundation. 

International Student Association – Jake Al Sarraf:  There is an upcoming salsa ballroom dancing event on March 22nd at a professional dance studio in Mount Pleasant. 

Medicine – Regina Brown:  This Friday at Mynt there will be a Haiti mission trip fundraiser.  It is 2 blocks from the Halsey so come join us after for drink specials.

Multicultural Student Advisory Board

Nursing – Toya Williams:  MNSA will be volunteering at the Annual Delma Woods & Aleta McLeod Health Fair on February 22nd from 9am – 3pm at the Arthur Christopher City Gym on 265 Fishburne Street.  If anyone is interested in fine tuning some of your skills or getting engaged with your community, we encourage you to participate.

Roddy white from the Atlanta Falcon’s football camp is in June.  We need cheerleaders, football coaches, yoga instructors, etc.  We need people to come speak about healthcare professions.  We need representatives at first aid. 

James Atkison: Is this in Atlanta?

Toya Williams:  It is here in Charleston at James Island High School.

The CON is having an upcoming event at Magnolia’s called Evening under the Stars”.



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