The members of Saint Francis’ Student Government Association work extremely hard to better the lives of students on campus.
I would know. I served alongside them last semester. I had no idea what the SGA actually did before I became a member. I really thought the representatives were just figures created by the administration to act like they give students power.
I could not have been more incorrect. Over Fall 2018, I learned that SGA not only has huge responsibilities, but they also affect change on campus. For example, you know the green to-go containers that every student hoards in their rooms during the winter months? Those were blessed to you because of an initiative by SGA.
New food at Frankies? SGA. Peanut-free section in Torv? SGA. Parking problem solved? SGA.
You get the point. They work to serve the students, and have real power within the administration.
Members sit on, and are voting participants, of academic faculty meetings. They regularly meet with the police, dining services, admissions, and even Fr. Malachi to discuss and voice student concerns.
At the beginning of the year, SGA brought in Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Powell to explain what “restructuring” actually meant. She gave a vague, yet calming, response that helped ease the panic that I, and most of my peers, were feeling.
I learned more about what was happening at the University by sitting in that hour meeting once a week for a semester, than I learned my entire freshman year.
I had the opportunity to see the future plans of lower JFK. I was able to hear about what academic programs were being cut or altered. That is when I realized that there should be a better bridge between SGA and students.
Students should be able to hear news about their school as early as possible. They should also be able to bring their concerns to a body that might share them and attempt to solve them.
Each week, the Thursday meetings are always open to the public. It isn’t that SGA is attempting to hide something, but not a lot of students show up to listen. This is not the fault of any one. Students are busy. We all have lives to live, GPAs to resuscitate, and sororities to rush for.
So how do we get students more involved with their government, and in turn, their university? The press!
The school newspaper is a perfect way to vocalize what SGA is doing and get students involved. The best way to make the government run better is to increase participation from the people they serve.
Please email me with concerns, questions, thoughts or anything you can think of involving SGA. I will take your concern or question to the meeting that week and raise it in your place if you cannot make the meeting.
Help bridge the gap between the administration and students. Help SGA become a better voice for the Saint Francis community.