The Student Government Association is comprised of brand new faces and ideas as the Mount rings in a new year and semester. For years, SGA has served as a tool for students to get involved and gain leadership experience, as well as promote the voice of the student body. They work on issues such as university policy, funding student clubs and campus improvements. This semester, however, SGA has adopted new ways of achieving these goals by altering the structure and introducing new representatives.
While some of the goals remain the same, most of SGA’s framework has taken a hopeful turn for the better. The main revision is the removal of class representation. Instead of having a president and board for each class, there is a parliamentary system in place that consists of students elected based on population.
The elected executive officers are Sewa Michael Gunn as President, Aimee Solano as Vice President, Sara Wright as Secretary and Abel Amdetsyon as Treasurer. Serving alongside the four officers, until December 2018 or graduation, is a group of 17 students who will assist in making decisions to benefit the student body. All 21 students returned to campus early from winter break for training to prepare them for tasks this semester.
Wright has been involved in SGA since she was a first-year student and noted the difference in how SGA’s changed form will expectantly move campus in a more positive direction. Wright said, “With the new SGA, it really gives a wider breadth of voices and ideas that can be heard, where before it was really limited. It makes the SGA as a whole more able to accomplish goals and tasks the general body of students want.” This shift in arrangement is intended to better represent a variety of student views and make SGA more appealing and accessible for the student body.
As a result of training, the SGA team has strengthened their vision. One common goal strongly emphasized by the officers is SGA’s motivation to be the voice of the student body. The new SGA is dedicated to understanding views on campus and representing them accurately. Wright said, “I would like to help make others aware that we are the voice of the students. Sometimes students feel powerless and voiceless and I’m happy I can be that voice.”
Additionally, Gunn ensured that SGA will “no longer be seen as complacent.” They will address a range of issues and make sure that students are well informed about successes and failures. This method, Gunn hopes, will “revive a sense of importance” in the organization and help students to entrust SGA with solutions to issues.
Even though the current board just took office Jan. 16, changes are already being made. Gunn noted that “diversifying the menu in Patriot and extending hours” is one of his more specific and recent goals. A small stride has recently been taken as Patriot’s dinner hours have shifted from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., to now 5 to 8 p.m.
While there is still work to be done, Gunn encourages students to reach out: “I’d like for the students to know that we are here to serve them. If anyone needs assistance in solving an issue please feel free to contact me, the office or other representatives. There is nothing that can be considered unimportant.”
To learn more about SGA or contact representatives, contact SGA@msmary.edu.