The Student Government Association is hosting a live revote today and tomorrow for students to decide the outcome of the Student Accident Shield Insurance bill. The vote comes days after a town hall, which happened Monday and allowed students to ask questions about the bill.
Students can vote on the bill from noon to 3 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to noon Friday in the Student Center.
If the vote is in favor of the bill, student fees will be increased to maintain the Student Accident Shield Insurance plan for the entire student body. If the bill doesn’t pass, only athletes will stay on the plan and pay for it, while the rest of the student body will no longer be covered.
The bill, which was first brought to the student body last semester, would raise student fees roughly $50 to cover the cost of providing the entire student body with an accident insurance up to $10,000.
The insurance also provides student-athletes $5,000 in accident insurance specifically for Newman-sanctioned athletic injuries.
The university implemented the insurance plan last year, but currently student-athletes are the only ones paying for it, even though it provides a form of coverage to the entire student body.
In a poll taken in November, students voted to approve a bill that would raise all student fees to help cover the cost of the insurance. However, the outcome of that vote was deemed invalid because of ethical issues surrounding the voting process, Student Government President Vivian Hoang said.
Hoang said SGA’s ethics committee looked in to concerns that coaches coerced their athletes to vote yes on the bill and deemed the vote unethical after an investigation.
She also said SGA wanted to hold the revote because there was confusion and miscommunication between the Athletic Department, SGA and the student body.
Holding the town hall Monday was one way to provide students an opportunity to ask questions regarding the insurance, Hoang said.
Athletic Director Vic Trilli, Athletic Trainer Cam Clark, Vice President of Finance Jennifer Gantz and an insurance representative for the Student Accident Shield Insurance plan were at the town hall and spoke to the more than 25 students in attendance regarding the plan.
“The town hall, while not perfect, was beneficial,” said Vince Couto, vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. “It served as a useful platform for both parties involved, helping clear up some, but not all questions students had.”
Quincy Plank, president of SAAC, said she appreciated the chance to ask questions but was still left feeling unsure.
“It’s frustrating to have people try to force something on everyone without our knowledge,” she said.
After the live revote this week, Hoang said, results will be turned in to administration and will impact next year’s student fees.
This story first appeared in the March 8, 2018 issue of The Vantage.