By Jordan Beach 

Each year, Reinhardt University’s Student Government Association votes to allocate Capital Project funds for improvements on campus. The allocations for the 2020-2021 Capital Project budget focused on making Reinhardt an even safer, more sustainable and inclusive learning environment.

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Reinhardt’s Student Government Association (SGA) voted to allocate the $50,000 budget on six projects, an investment that serves all of Reinhardt’s student population and continues environmentally conscious efforts.

One project will finish replacing furniture in Gordy Residence Hall and the East and West Apartments. Another improvement to the East Apartments will be to add card readers to the doors that do not currently have them.

In order to improve accessibility at Reinhardt, ADA compliant doors will be installed at Smith Johnston Residence Hall and the Brown Athletic Center.

“I am truly thrilled that SGA is addressing the need to install ADA accessible doors. More and more students are attending Reinhardt who use wheelchairs and having mobility difficulties,” said Dr. Walter May, dean of students. “Reinhardt needs to respond to these needs and to ensure that our campus facilities are accessible and that these unique student populations feel included and served. Reinhardt, in partnership with the SGA, is moving forward thanks to those who understand and are willing to improve the lives of many.”

In an effort to develop sustainable habits on campus, 10 water fountains will be replaced with ones that function to also fill water bottles. A portion of the Capital Project funds will also provide 20 recycling bins to place around campus, including in academic buildings, the Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center, the Brown Athletic Center and Eagles View Residence Hall.

The recycling bins are part of a pilot program to increase recycling rates by making receptacles more accessible, which will be paired with an educational initiative to reduce bin contamination.

“In regard to sustainability, I am excited that the Student Government Association is continuing to support the University’s sustainability initiative, RU Green,” May said.

A new addition will provide an outdoor space for students to gather. The Cobb Garden will include a pergola, a hexagon consisting of eight, two-person swings.

May, who also teaches Reinhardt’s camping course, views the Cobb Garden pergola as a great way for students to escape the stress of everyday college life.

“With the construction of the pergola near Cobb Park, we can create an inviting outdoor space for students to unplug, swing, study and enjoy the beauty of our ‘University in a Park.’ Fresh air and natural scenery have a positive impact on students’ physical and mental health, and can also improve the overall quality of their life as it can restore their mood, give them back their energy and vitality, refresh and rejuvenate them.”

In pursuit of educating the whole person, Reinhardt University encourages student participation in all areas of the campus community. Student self-government plays a significant role in shaping the quality of student life. Established in 1957, Reinhardt’s SGA represents all segments of the student body and is organized to help formulate and voice student opinion regarding University policies and to allocate its funding to appropriate committees, programs, projects and student organizations. To learn more, visit Reinhardt.edu/SGA.