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MUSC Student Government Association

September 11th Meeting Minutes


Samantha Sergi:  The CARES clinic, a student-run clinic in Mount Pleasant is having its annual boat cruise fundraiser.  The boat cruise will take place on October 3rd.  Boarding of the Spirit of the Low country will begin at 7:30pm at Aquarium Wharf and the cruise will depart at 8pm and return at 10:30pm.  Dinner will be served on the cruise along with a cash bar, and a silent auction. This is a semi-formal event, so please wear cocktail attire. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in the library lobby beginning on September 23rd from 12-1pm.  Credit cards, checks, and cash are all accepted.  If you have any questions contact Samantha at

Bob Poyer, Assistant Director of Libraries for Public Services and Education:  Since last September, the stacks came down on the 2nd floor of the library and new study areas became available.  We added 10-15 computers, including color printers, on the 2nd and 3rd floors.   More recently, we made Lexicomp available all over campus and from off-campus.  Lexicomp provides easy access to drug information.  Since we changed our subscription, we got more mobile downloads. Six hundred people downloaded the mobile app to lexicomp and a large amount of them are students.  For basic scientists, we added the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE).  We had the general one, but we added neuroscience and translational medicine. It provides a visualization of experiments and how to do them properly.  We also got Scopus, a database that covers the literature, both research and clinical, more than PubMed, but it doesn’t have some of the search algorithms that PubMed has. However, it has a way to do citation indexing.  Another resource coming available shortly is Pascal, with a consortium of colleges and universities in South Carolina.  Pascal is an anatomy and physiology database online.  It will provide a different way of learning.  It is a point of care product that gives overviews of 9000 medical conditions, and is the most heavily used item in library.  We are getting the mobile app shortly. 

Stephen Thompson:  Is it ready to download?

Bob Poyer:  We’re in the process. You will get an email when it is available.

Tom Basler: We are negotiating 3 different physical plant renovations. The first is the renovation of the library elevator. The buttons and wiring will be re-done and this will allow students to be able to go from floor to floor with your ID.  This will probably be ready at the 1st of the year.  The 4th floor will be opened up 24/7 because of this.  The 2nd issue is climate control on 3rd and 4th floor of the library.  You can finally throw the blankets away!  The 3rd issue is the lighting.  To get the HVAC and better lighting, the physical plant will have to tear the ceilings out in those areas.  They will do half of the 3rd floor at a time and half of the 4th floor at a time.  It will get noisy over a longer period of time.  We will try to relocate and work with you. When it ends, we will have controlled lighting and climate control. 

Dr. Darlene Shaw, Associate Provost of Education and Student Life:  Congratulations on being elected by your peers.  It is an honor and an indication of the confidence they have in you. SGA is an important part of the fabric of MUSC.  You are the voice of students, and you are important in communication to the student body.  Without students, we are not a university.  We want you to have a good time while you are here and provide you with an excellent education.  To provide you with an example of how students have played a role in MUSC, Danny has a permanent spot on the Board of Trustees agenda and they look forward to hearing from him. Several on campus programs such as CAE, the writing center, housing, MUSC gives back, student diversity, CAPS, student health, financial aid, student programs, and the wellness center are here to help you be successful academically and to improve your overall well-being. If there are problems in any of those areas come to me, Danny, or Dr. Burnham.  95% of students at MUSC say they made the right choice in coming to MUSC and we want to keep it that way.  We have an interim president, Dr. Mark Sothmann, and we are in great hands.  He was the former dean of CHP and served for 3 years as the provost.  The Board of Trustees asked him to step in as President during the Presidential search.  Searches at that level can take up to a year so don’t be surprised if we do not have a new president 3 or 4 months from now.


Old Business

Reading of the August 28th minutes:  Approved

New Business

MUSC’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan committees – Dr. Burnham:  We are initiating the University’s first diversity strategic plan. This will address how we approach diversity inclusion in the University and hospital.  We are looking for student representatives to fill 5 different committees. We will begin meeting in January with a retreat and meet at a minimum of once per month and a maximum of twice per month.  This plan was implemented by Dr. Greenberg, but we are committed to move forward with the plan.  We are looking to have student input in 5 primary areas:  Recruitment and Pipeline Development, Education and Training, Performance and Outcome Metrics, Engagement and Inclusion, and Communication, Communication Relations and Outreach. At some point in your careers you are going to participate in every part of this enterprise whether it is as a student, patient, clinician, or an outsider.  If you are interested in that work, let Danny know what group you would like to be a part of.  I’ll contact you in January with your expectations.  We expect you to pass the baton as you graduate.   I also want to bring to your attention, one example of Dr. Greenberg’s commitment to diversity.  This is the first time in the history of MUSC that we have had 4 women deans. That is one way to think about diversity. The committees will look at gender, ethnicity, hierarchy, and every possible way outside the norms.  Your input is critical and will be setting MUSC to be one of the first in diversity inclusion.  Every college has a national accreditation in diversity.  This is a key driver in some of the work that we are doing.  We need your input in where we are falling short, where we are good, and what are some innovative ways to improve diversity.

Danny Vo:  We will break up into committees and try to find participants from our committees to fill these positions.

Introduction of new SGA representatives

SGA Retreat: Part I of the SGA retreat will be held today.  We will select committees and we will split up into committees at the end of the meeting. 


Student Welfare Committee – Danny Vo: My committee is really relaxed.  You can do as little or as much as you want.  Basically, we address student concerns on campus.  We also have a safety walk that will probably happen next month to examine the campus and its facilities.

Programs Committee – Stephen Thompson: My committee will brainstorm about ideas for themes for events, specifically Alhambra.  We will also select wines for the Winetasting, and examine ways to improve our events. 

Service Committee – Holly Berry:  My committee will be responsible for promoting service events at each committee, as well as reporting feedback about our various service events to the general SGA body.  We will also be responsible for staffing Make a Difference Day/

Academic Affairs Committee – James Atkison:  My committee will be doing a constitutional overhaul.  This year we will be reviewing the constitution.  We also work with library issues. 

Communications Committee – Kaya Hill: We work to better on-campus communication through emails, Facebook, campus flyers, and posters.  This year my committee will be assisting in displaying SGA event flyers in bathrooms as well as posters on bulletin boards across campus.  This year we will have a Communications Walk, where my committee will walk through campus to identify the SGA bulletin boards in order to keep them clean, organized, and updated. 

Part II of the SGA retreat will be held on Saturday, September 14th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.   We will meet at the Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park for a scavenger hunt with your committees. We will be having lunch at Low Country Bistro on the Market at noon if you would like to park your car near there.  We need one camera per group since we are having a photo scavenger hunt. 

Dinner with Interim President Dr. Sothmann:  Dr. Sothmann will continue Dr. Greenberg’s tradition of an annual dinner with the SGA.  This will take place on Wednesday, November 20th at the American Theater on 456 King Street in downtown Charleston at 6:30pm.  If you cannot attend the dinner please notify Kayla or Nadia in advance.  This is a good way to meet administration at MUSC.  There will a great, catered dinner.

Faculty Senate:  Dr. Tom Smith with the faculty senate discussed with me that they want to bridge the student and faculty senate.  If anyone has any questions about faculty or how classes are run, please email me and I will address them with Dr. Smith. 

Instructional Technology and Faculty Resources (ITFR) Donation Drive:  The ITFR is collecting donations for the Low country Food Bank and United Way’s Day of Caring.  Collection bins are placed all throughout campus (Harborview office, library, BSB, cafeteria, wellness center, among others) to collect hygiene items, diapers, and non-perishable foods (i.e. tuna, peanut butter, canned fruits/vegetables, rice, oatmeal).  The collection ends on Thursday, September 12th.  For more information check out the following link:

Reps (2) to clean up after meeting:  Layne Madden and Toya Williams


Old Business

MUSC Student Activities Fair Evaluation:  The evaluation and comment sheet was passed around.  Does anyone have any thoughts?  The winner of the Ipad mini is Jake DeWeerth from COM.

New Business

SGA Alcohol Awareness – Kevin Smuniewski:  We had a pour challenge at the activities fair. One of our own, Lindsay Dangerfield won the drawing for the contest! 

We also hosted a Responsible Hosting for Student Organizations session today.  Basically, alcohol must be approved by the Dean of your College or Dr. Burnham, depending on whether it is college specific or a university wide event.  Feel free to stop by the student programs office and pick up a packet!

Michael Occhipinti:  Do you need that packet for both college and university events?

Kevin Smuniewski:  Yes, the dean needs to fill out the form if it is college specific.

Philip Sobolesky:  Is it for off-campus as well?

Kevin Smuniewski:  Yes, any event that has alcohol.

Toya Williams:  Does that include if you have a social event at Tsunami?

Kevin Smuniewski:  Yes, your advisors should tell you this information. This is the proper procedure.  It will get approved no problem.  If it is informal and not advertised then it does not need to be approved.

Philip Sobolesky:  What about if alcohol is not advertised? If it is more for food, but alcohol will be there for purchase?

Dr. Burnham:  If you are at a venue like a bar, you will be held accountable as social hosts even if you are not providing it.  There are some questions on the form about licensure.

Tina Wagner:  Do we get the form from you?

Kevin Smuniewski:  Yes, they are also online.

MUSC Art Walk:  Already, 800 out of 1000 wristbands have been given away.  You can get 2 with your student ID.  Sign ups will go out for worker spots next Monday at 5pm.  If you are signed up to work the next SGA meeting, we will give out wristbands to our workers so you have a chance to get 3 wristbands.  We need all spots filled since this is the first time we are doing the wristbands and you need to be assertive about not letting people without wristbands in. Your primary responsibility is to enforce the wristbands.  Look for an email on Sunday to remind you about the Sign-up Genius on Monday. The MUSC Art Walk is on Friday, September 27th from 5pm – 8pm.  Appetizers and drinks will be provided.  You will need to pick up a wristband in the Student Programs Office prior to the event--2 wristbands per ID.   Show up to the event wearing your wristband to get access to all galleries. 

When you send out an email to your colleges, let them know that there will be a drastic change this year for the Art Walk.  Since it’s been really overcrowded, we are controlling the amount of people that can attend this year.  Remember, this event is open to all employees.  Be sure to advertise this because the wristbands will go fast and we will not have wristbands at the actual event. 

Jewelry is Fun:  This fundraiser will be on Wednesday and Thursday, September 18th and 19th.  This year, fundraisers will be worker spot opportunities.  We will need reps to sign up for 1 hour shifts between 9am – 4pm.  The Sign-up Genius for the Jewelry is Fun fundraiser will be sent out on Thursday, September 12th at 5pm. 

Dorothea Gadsden:  The Office of Volunteer Services staff has the ability to do payroll deductions on campus and we use them to offer our fundraisers to employees.  In the past, they manned the hours with my assistance.  They can’t do that anymore because it is becoming too much for them, so we need you guys to help out so we can continue to collect that revenue from our fundraisers.  Thank you in advance for signing up.  You have 2 days to choose from to pick your slot on Sign-up Genius.  Once you pick your spot, you need to go to the bottom of the page and hit submit your selection.

Michael Occhipinti:  Will we still get an email confirmation?

Stephen Thompson:  Yes, everything else will be the same.  It is just an added “submit” step.

Michael Occhipinti:  I just wanted to add that if you are unsure of what you signed up for, you can click on your email and check it.

Dorothea Gadsden:  I prepared a short PowerPoint slide about what you will need to do if you are working the Fundraiser.  Please arrive on time.  Be conscious that your classmates may have other plans and appointments.  With that being said, please don’t leave early. The vendors cannot do payroll deduction paperwork.  If no one is there, employees can’t make purchases.  In the event that you are unable to make your shift, please give me a call in the Student Programs Office at 792-2693. This information is in the binder if you need to leave early once you are there. 

This binder holds everything you need to conduct the payroll deduction process.  All MUSC employees are in this binder, including MUHA, University, and Physicians (UMA) and the binder will be divided accordingly.  Use the binder to get their employee identification number.  The binder also holds the payroll deduction form.  It will let you know when the payroll deductions are.  Most of the time, monthly employees want to take it out of one paycheck, and I can show you how to complete that paperwork. There must be a minimum purchase of at least $25.  They need to pay with cash or credit card.  For monthly deductions, they need to make a minimum purchase of $50.  Once the sale is made, the vendor will walk the person to you and give you the receipt, you will then hand the employee this form and the employee fills out the top part with the exception of the employee number.  You need the first set of numbers off of the ID for the badge ID number.  You will then look the employee up by name to get their employee number.  Make sure that the employee completes the form entirely.  In the middle section, use the receipt to fill it out properly.  Put in the number 2 for either monthly or biweekly.  The dates will always be provided.  Add the total purchase costs and the number of deductions which is 2. Then, split the cost of their purchase in half.   Have the employee sign and date the sheet and you need to sign where it says volunteer service representative and date it. For the person working the last shift, you will need to bring the rolling bag with all of our supplies back to volunteer services. 

James Atkison:  Where is Volunteer Services?

Dorothea Gadsden:  It is located on the first floor of the main hospital where patient registration is.

Dr. Burnham:  Can you share how much we earned last year?

Dorothea Gadsden:  We raised $5000 last year.  This year I’m expecting more because we have larger vendors with more merchandise.  We are expecting 2-4 payroll deductible events this year. 

Stephen Thompson: Will the first shift worker need to pick everything up?

Dorothea Gadsden: No, I will be there with everything.

Philip Sobolesky:  Can you make a checklist for everything that must be done for each worker?

Dorothea Gadsden:  Sure!

Stephen Thompson: This will be in the Horseshoe Portico.

Nadia Mariutto:  I also want to add if students want to get wristbands, on Monday we open up to employees so they should come this week. Who knows, we might be sold out by Monday.

Jake al Sarraf:  Can we enjoy the art walk if we sign up to work?

Nadia Mariutto:  There are multiple shifts, so you can enjoy one half of the event. You will get a band for working and you can get 2 with your ID as well.


New Business

Robert’s rules of Order: Robert’s Rules of Order is a way to orderly and effectively discuss a subject matter, ensure fair representation of ideas, and guarantee thoughtful and informed decisions.  It protects the minority’ right to be heard and the rights of the individual to be heard.  It starts with a motion “I move…” Raise your hand and Danny will call on you.  You can also add amendments to a motion. Point of privilege is for example, if you can’t hear me and you would like me to speak up.  “Call the previous question” to say you want to vote.  Motions need to be seconded before it is acknowledged.  The chair needs to state the motion twice, once when it is made and once when we vote.  A vote needs 2/3 majority to pass.  Call the previous question also needs a vote, so you need a vote to vote.  This is to ensure that if anyone needs to get one last opinion in, at this point they can.  Point of information is if you need clarification on anything.  Parliamentary question is if you have a question with Robert’s Rules of Order.  This system is not intended to intimidate anyone. Please ask if you are having trouble with it.  You won’t get rejected because you didn’t present it well.  Keep it professional and don’t call people out.  Most importantly, be respectful and nice. 

Budget – 2nd Reading and Voting:

Layne Madden:  I motion to discuss the budget. 

Danny Vo:  Please look over the budget for 2 minutes and then we will start. 

Steven Holshouser:  I motion to move into a period of debate.

Pro vs. Con for 2 min:

Layne Madden:  I would offer that the increase in the service budget reflects our mission well.

Sara Garrett:  Overall, we are going for $10000 less than last year, yet our SGA fundraisers remain the same.  Are we planning to increase our fundraisers so we don’t have to make such drastic decreases?

Dorothea Gadsden:  Last year we earned $5000 and offered payroll deduction once.  Now that we have the ability to do it at least 4 times, there will be an increase.  I can’t say for sure how much the revenue will be. 

Kevin Smuniewski:  Point of information. If you overestimate and we fall short we screw ourselves.  We are keeping an estimate.  We are being cautious.

Dorothea Gadsden:  Prior to this year, the budget was really low.  We made $2000 in revenue.  So we actually doubled in revenue last year with our fundraisers.  The payroll deduction made a big difference. 

Danny Vo:  Point of information.  We also increased ticket prices which will bring in more revenue. 

Layne Madden:  Point of information. Have you considered how a fee would affect participation in intramurals?

Kevin Smuniewski: The intramural budget is less than 10% of the SGA budget.  I think participation would decrease.  We like the idea of it being included in the activities fees.  Being that it is such a small cost, we think that it is worth it.  We have to rent fields and that is why Flag football costs so much.

Layne Madden: What is the participation in intramurals?

Kevin Smuniewski:  There are about 200-300 students per sport for 8 weeks.  Some students play every week, a total of 1000 students per year.  We spend less than $15 per person.

Michael Occhipinti:  I feel like we are volunteering our time and that food shouldn’t be a motivation. I’m not saying to get rid of it completely, but scale it back.

Danny Vo:  It depends on how long the meeting lasts.  If you haven’t eaten in a while, it’s hard to ask someone to give time and last so late.  It helps people stay motivated and pay attention. 

Michael Occhipinti:  I don’t know if there is some way we can scale back.  Like pizzas?

Tina Wagner:  Can we just have food on long meetings?

Danny Vo:  It is really hard to predict. 

Leonardo Gonzalez:  I’m for keeping the food.  I’m missing out on a meal with my family and you guys are becoming my second family.  So I need to have a meal with some kind of family. 

Stephanie Wilson:  Where would you allocate food money to?

Michael Occhipinti:  I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular. 

Regina Brown:  We are all going into health professions and we already have meetings with pizza being the free meal.  We were selected by our class to spend a certain amount of time but also staff dedicates a lot of time.  We have a pregnant lady--we need to give them food.

Layne Madden:  Student organizations among health professions were promoting pizza the other day.

Tina Wagner:  I don’t think our meals are healthy.  But we can put food toward service or events.  We can bring our own food.

Michael Occhipinti:  We can have a potluck.

James Atkison:  We are going to vote on the budget now and see if it gets approved and if it does not we can address motions.

Sumeen Maur:  I motion to call previous question.

Vote: The budget passed.


New Business

Marsh Sweep on James Island:  On Saturday, September 21st, we will be meeting under the JI connector at the marshy area for a 3 h service event to clean up the marsh.  A Sign-up Genius email for the Marsh Sweep was sent out yesterday.  It will be sent out again on Friday.  Only 3 people have signed up so far.

Sara Garrett: Do we know if it is going to be high or low tide?

Holly Berry:  High tide comes in at 10am which will work to our benefit because the trash will come in with it.  Bring bug spray, hats, and clothes that can get dirty.  We will have snacks.

Blood Drive:  Tuesday, October 1st

Make a Difference Day:  Saturday, October 12th

Sugar Free Fall Festival:  Thursday, October 24th

Sign-ups for the service events will go out roughly 2 weeks in advance of each event.  There are not shifts for service events. You will need to work for the whole time commitment.


New Business

Website update:  The website has been updated with the worker spots completed from the BTS Party and the Student Activities Fair.  Please check the Rep Requirements page under the SGA Rep Info tab on the SGA website and let me know if I need to make any changes in your worker hours.

“Did you Know?” on SGA website:  The SGA website also has a page called “Did you know?” that has a lot of helpful information for new students as well as some information that some older students may not be aware of.  It includes dining discounts, information about parking, student services, and fun facts about the Charleston area in general.  An example of one of the tips on the page is:  Half off burgers at Moe’s downtown.  There are free printing cards available for each student at the beginning of the year that can be used in the library.  If you have any additional deals, discounts, or student services on campus that other students should know about, please let me know and we can add that to the website as well.

SGA Oath of Understanding:  At the last meeting, I asked you all to look over your SGA Oath’s.  Make sure you sign the copy of the Oath at your seat today.  Bring them with you when you meet with your committees and hand them in to your executive officer.

SGA Pictures:  We will take SGA pictures at the October 9th SGA meeting.  Please dress appropriately.  You don’t have to dress up too much; just don’t wear your work out gear to the meeting that day.  We will be taking the pictures before the business portion of the meeting begins.  This means that if you would like to get out of the meeting in a timely manner, we need you to show up early around 5pm. We will be taking individual rep photos, college photos, and an SGA photo.  If your college can try to all get there early we can get your individual and college photos done.  It will make things go a lot faster. 

College Reports:  I also want to remind everyone again that this year we are asking that you provide your college reports to us in advance so that they may be included on the agenda.  Please send any reports to myself or by noon the Tuesday before the SGA meeting.

Danny Vo:  I forgot to add earlier that there will be a competition for the scavenger hunt and the winning team will receive a gift card.

Charlene Gravgaard:  People have been saying that they aren’t going to check their email at home because of the new system. 

Danny Vo:  If you can’t access a phone there is a one-time by pass.  We have to go with it because being at a medical university, there are security concerns.

Dr. Burnham:  A rep from OCIO will be here to address your questions and he knows some of your concerns.  There was a huge hospital breach so bear with us as the university is taking these policies to protect us as employees, students, and patients at MUSC. 

Philip Sobolesky:  What are the consequences of missing the deadline?

Danny Vo:  you won’t receive email until you enroll.

Regina Brown:  Is there some kind of incentive for enrolling.

Danny Vo:  If you enroll by September 25th you are entered into a drawing for an Ipad mini.

Sara Garrett:  Is there a compliance/grace period?

Dr. Burnham:  The first deadline was in June. This is the 2nd deadline.  There will not be a grace period.   You can still sign up even if you don’t have access.  If you are tech savvy and have some recommendations let them know at the next meeting. 

INTRAMURALS:  Kevin Smuniewski

Flag football update:  There are 6 Charleston School of Law teams that entered, so we are getting revenue from them.  The deadline for rosters has passed.  If anyone wants to join individually they can sign up on the single agents list.


Student Programs

Dental – Sumeen Maur:  On September 23rd we will be selling elastic head bands and hair bands.  Hair ties are $1 and headbands $2.  They are the type that will not crease your hair.

Graduate Studies

Health Professions – Deidre Tindal:  CHP will be hosting a Halloween Party at the Joe Riley Stadium on Friday, October 25th.  We will be selling tickets (price TBD, likely $10-$15).  Proceeds will benefit the CARES clinic. 

CHP SGA will host a lunch for all CHP students on September 19th.  Wear your favorite Jersey or team shirt to fit our “Tailgate” theme!

International Student Association

Medicine – Layne Madden:  Volunteers are needed for the D’Vine affair, a gala event featuring fine wines and gourmet food accompanied by live music and silent auction.  Hundreds of people from the medical and business communities attend, and all proceeds go directly to the Arthritis Foundation.  Volunteers are needed for set-up, clean-up, bar station assistance, food station assistance, registration, and online auction assistance between the hours of 4pm and 11pm on Thursday, September 19th.  The actual event will take place between 6:30pm-10:30pm. Contact Jennifer Scott at or at 407-739-1074 if you are interested. 

EdLINK could still use more volunteers, all colleges welcome.  We currently work with students at Sanders-Clyde Middle School and Burke High School.  Volunteers work directly with students in the classrooms to help support and enrich the lesson for the day. It is a great opportunity for MSC students to get experience with teaching, mentoring, and working with kids and adolescents.  You must be willing to commit to at least one visit per month throughout the school year. For more information please contact Layne Madden at or Jamie Mills at

Multicultural Student Advisory Board


Pharmacy – Leonardo Gonzalez: We will be having a Christmas crawl on November 22nd.  Proceeds will go to CYDC.  We are also having an etiquette dinner on October 28th.  There will be more information to come regarding these events.


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