Student Government Association campaigns for change

Saturday, December 14, 2013 2:00:00 AM

by Paige Quiñones, ’14

The start of a new school year always means new faces and new outlooks on the year ahead. And for the Student Government Association (SGA) that meant an entirely new strategic plan and focus on increased student involvement and stronger mission delivery.

SGA is the main governing body for all undergraduate students and is the guiding force behind student life on campus. Under the direction of a committed group of student leaders, SGA strives to create effective change on campus, address the needs and concerns of students, and facilitate programs and activities. In addition, SGA aims to strengthen the bonds between students and faculty in order to help make improvements in all areas of University life.


Last spring, the student body elected new members to the SGA executive board, including: Brittney Longley, vice president of programming; Emily Sparks, vice president of finance; Savannah Kramer, vice president of communication; Steven Thomas, vice president of student body forum; and Theresa Schoemann, vice president of organizations. Stephanie Coker leads the group as its president.

SGA is focused on designing programs targeted at better serving the student body, with the ultimate goal of having a greater impact on the experience of student life on campus.

“We are starting to look at establishing new traditions on campus that will get our name out there and address student needs,” Longley said.

SGA also is shifting focus in its programming and communication efforts with the student body.

“The biggest obstacle that SGA has encountered is the gap in communication between the student body and the organization,” Longley said. “With our new programs we are seeking to bridge this gap.”

Monthly forums are now held to address student concerns on a variety of topics including food services, student life, parking, student programming, and campus beautification.

“We want students to know that they have a voice and we want to hear those concerns, ideas and feedback,” Longley said.

As the driving force behind installing security cameras in the Stritch parking lots, SGA has a long-standing legacy at Stritch for being trailblazers in making substantial improvements on campus.

This semester, SGA has already made great progress and struck gold with such successful events as the Hunger Games Premier and Sips and Sounds, and also bringing in a nationally known acapella group, Ball in the House, to kick off final exam week. The organization already is planning for the spring semester, when they are looking to partner with other on-campus organizations, such as the Alumni Association.

“Partnerships are important to the success of SGA,” Longley said. “As we begin to celebrate a few successes on our own, it’s important that we now collaborate to further expand our reach.”