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SGA working with DMA for a student-friendly downtown

Ariel Felton
Staff Writer
arfelton@valdosta.edu

 In the most recent SGA meeting held this past Monday, speaker Pat Sullivan from the Downtown Merchants Association spoke of ways to revitalize Valdosta’s downtown area in order to get students involved in downtown life.
 Sullivan informed his audience that Valdosta’s downtown  area, only half a mile away from campus, has plenty to offer and his job is to make it even better. Sullivan spoke of the university using a shuttle to take students downtown sometime in the next two to three weeks. The bus will make three or four trips that day and depending on student participation, the university might start to offer this bus ride more times during the week.
 Another idea Sullivan discussed was the possibility of a VSU Pride Night downtown, where students who wear red and black VSU attire will receive discounts in some of the clothing shops and bars downtown.
 Sullivan also informed the students that the city of Valdosta is looking for a location for a new Performing Arts auditorium and also gave several reasons why downtown would be the perfect location.
 Sullivan then opened up the floor for students to talk about what would interest them in coming downtown. Some of the ideas included a Mardi Gras celebration and opening less expensive clothing stores geared towards the college age group.
 While there is no set date for any of these events, Sullivan assured his audience of big changes downtown and that student participation and input will be the most helpful in making those changes.
 Another speaker at the meeting was a representative for the Rivers for Life organization. He informed the audience that the organization was searching for volunteers for Oct. 3, to clean the river that starts in Drexel Park and runs through the heart of campus.
 After both speakers, President Kelli Cody discussed issues that had been handled within the last week, including parking regulations. Cody met with Parking and Transportation committee and they discussed lots of new legislation they are hoping to have in place for next fall.
 SGA has also been working on the new constitution in their Friday meetings, tackling committee structure first. Changes will be voted on in about three weeks.
 Cody also took some time to discuss this year’s freshman elections. Started Tuesday at midnight and ended at midnight last night, students were able to find a link on VSU’s homepage that will led them to freshman elections. Results will be available soon. 
 Right before the end of the meeting, a representative from the Mary Turner Project spoke of a meeting called “Heritage, Hate, or Fear?”, being held in the Magnolia room, this Monday at 7 p.m. This meeting will be to discuss the SAE fraternity’s decision to hang a confederate flag on their front lawn.
 SGA meetings are open to all students and are held every Monday in the Odum library auditorium next to the Internet Café starting at 8 p.m.

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