Rowan idea challenge among presentations at SGA open session

President Lauren Bitzer speaks at a meeting of the SGA Senate on March 5, 2018. -Assistant Photo Editor/Miguel Martinez

Monday night in the Eynon Ballroom, Howard Lubert, the managing director at the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund, spoke to the assembled Student Government Association (SGA) Senate about the Rowan Idea Challenge. The challenge has previously been covered by The Whit.

Speaking to the assembled students at the meeting, Lubert said that the timeline for the next challenge cycle would be slightly different. The application period will open July 1 at midnight, with the early entry period closing Aug. 31 at midnight. Lubert also said that teams who register before the early deadline closes will get an extra thousand dollars towards their projects, should they make the final round of entrants.

Speaking after the meeting, Lubert said that the idea behind the early start time was to give teams in the challenge a head start on coming together.

“The thinking was that if we can get students thinking about the idea challenge over the summer, that will give them more time to coalesce a better idea,” Lubert said. “What we found last year was that about half of the teams already had found a partner from another college. So if we give them an extra couple of months to start thinking about it, my thinking is that we’ll have much better teams that will be much more prepared to go.”

Other business attended to in the open session included a short presentation about Rowan’s upcoming field day event, which will be held at the REC center on April 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The registration form can be downloaded at and should be turned in along with the $20 registration fee to the REC center front desk between March 5 and March 24. Registration is limited to the first 24 teams that sign up.

The other major business of the meeting was an announcement from current Executive Vice President (EVP) Chris Albano. When running for the position a year ago, Albano made affordable textbooks a key part of his platform.

“So when I first started thinking of the idea, me and [former SGA president] Danny Cardona thought about trying to get textbooks for introductory courses in the existing Campbell Library,” Albano said. “Since then, it’s changed. Instead of buying the textbooks from Barnes and Noble and putting them in the library for students, we’re paying professors to rewrite their own content. It doesn’t have to be a full textbook. It can be whatever they think is enough for the class.”

Albano added, “The applications for those are out now under Rowan University Textbook Affordability Program (Rowan TAP), we just ask that they create their material, we’ll go over all the applications, and then they will start rolling out the material on Rowan’s website for next spring.”

In the new business section of the agenda, four clubs were up for petitioning status at the meeting on Monday. The organizations appearing in front of SGA included Out in STEM, the Human Services Club, the Society of Women in Medicine and the Pre-Vet Club. Each of the organizations presented in front of the assembled senate and after a brief discussion, all four were elected to petitioning status by a majority vote.

The next SGA meeting will be held in the Eynon Ballroom on March 19 at 7 p.m.

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