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The Blue & Gray Press | August 22, 2019

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Student Senate and SGA pass motion for a sauna in the gym

Student Senate and SGA pass motion for a sauna in the gym


On Jan. 30, the University of Mary Washington’s Executive Cabinet voted to pass a motion for a sauna to be added to the fitness center. Senior political science and Spanish double major, Ben Purdy was the senator who introduced the proposal about a week earlier at a student senate meeting.

Purdy was speaking in favor of sophomore psychology major, Audrey Williamson, who came up with the proposal, but had not yet been inducted into the senate. She said she believed the sauna could benefit students because of a variety of health reasons.

“I originally got the idea because I have a sauna at the gym I go to at home and it really helps with a speedier recovery of my muscles,” Williamson said. “My sister has one at her school [in JMU] and she says she’s uses it a lot and so do many other students… I think it would be a great addition to our rec center, and could really benefit our schools’ athletes as well as everyone [else].”

Though all the details have not yet been finalized, Williamson went to the senate meeting prepared with thoughts about how the school could financially afford to create the sauna.

“Since saunas cost around $2,000 to 4,000, I think we could perhaps look for donations from alumni or anyone involved with athletics, and then get students to pay the rest,” Williamson said. “For example, a student could pay three dollars in Eagle One for a 30-minute session. And then students could continue to pay for this service to cover the maintenance costs.”

Williamson was passionate about her proposal but was still surprised to hear that it was passed.

“Honestly, I was a little shocked, just because normally the motions we pass are much more serious than a sauna,” Williamson said. “But I think it’s a good idea and I guess others agreed.”

The idea of adding a sauna was widely accepted by students.

“I wasn’t surprised that it passed student senate, but I was surprised that it passed the executive cabinet,” Purdy said. “It seems like a solid idea and is something future students could enjoy.”

Student Government Association Vice President, junior accounting major,Ethan Carter recognized the positives involved in the sauna proposal.

“I am in favor,” Carter said. “Many other schools have saunas and I think it's something that students would enjoy… Also, I can’t speak as to why individuals voted for the motion but several health benefits were explained in the discussion.”

Once a motion is put forth at the student senate level, there is a process that it goes through to be accepted. According to Theodosios Zotos, Student Senate Vice President, once it passes in the senate it goes to the SGA cabinet where its logistics are analyzed. If the cabinet passes a motion it is then discussed by Carter and Dean Rucker, who have weekly meetings.

After administration is made aware of the motions that have made it through both the student senate and the Executive Cabinet, they take the needed steps to put it into action.

“It is then brought to Dean Rucker, who hands the motion off to the party responsible for fulfilling it,” Carter said.

A policy that makes it through the SGA is not guaranteed to be passed until it receives the green light from administration.

“Administrators have an active voice in how to implement or not to implement the motion,” Zotos said. “There is a lot of red tape and bureaucracy to overcome after the motion passes both the SGA and Student Senate.”