SGA wants students to ‘feel represented’

Kara McIntyre

Student Government Association officials held their first meet-and-greet at the Student Organization Fair yesterday, in lieu of the first Student Senate meeting usually held the first week of September. President Shayla Owens and Vice President Andrea Mendoza-Lespron said they are trying something new this year — SGA committees. 

“We’re doing the meet-and-greet and starting up committees to get students more involved,” Mendoza-Lespron said. “SGA is devoting the entire month of September to recruitment and getting our name out.”

Owens agreed with Mendoza-Lespron, saying that they want SGA to be more engaged this year.

“We’re really trying to be bigger and make policies that reflect what all students want,” Owens said. “We have almost 6,000 students and want the best for the most amount of students possible.”

Both plan to go to different buildings around campus and to set up booths to show students what SGA is about and get students to sign up for the committees that interest them. Student leaders said they designed the committees to help students understand how campus change works, to work with individual departments, and to report their findings back to the officers. 

“The biggest goal for SGA is that we want students to feel supported and represented,” Owens said. “Campus is here to make them greater people, and both the officers and the committees will serve as a liasion for that to happen.”

Adviser Keith Lamb said he is there to help plan and navigate university processes within the officers and the committees.

“I serve as a bridge between SGA and administration,” Lamb said. “There are a lot of different university processes, whether that be implementing new rules or renovating a building. All of the advisers provide strategic direction for the members of SGA.”

Student ideas

Management sophomore Taylor Dinkins and computer science junior Kenadi Campbell said that they hope to see SGA help install more emergency poles, especially between Sundance and Fain.

“There’s an emergency pole by Sundance, but there’s a section between Sundance and Fain that gets really dark,” Campbell said. “I’d love to feel more safe when I’m walking home at night.”

Dinkins said she’d also like to see more changes with course opportunities.

“We should have more African studies,” Dinkins said. “I tried to bring that up last year and nothing happened. I hope that changes this year.”

Pre-dental senior D’Aaron Clayton said he wanted to see recycling bins on campus.

“We have recycling bins for plastic water bottles and cans, but not ones for the residence halls or apartments where there would be the most traction,” Clayton said. “It would be great for SGA to try and make those changes.”

After the meet and greet, 22 students had signed up for committees and there are still some positions open. 

“We really want to see students at the iLead conference on Sept. 20,” Mendoza-Lespron said. “We will be asking what students expect from us and in turn saying what we expect from them. It’s a way for students to see what we can do together as a team.”

SGA’s first meeting will be held on Oct. 4 in Comanche Suites.