The Student Government Association kicked off a busy semester on Sunday night with their first General Council meeting of the new year. The Executive Board and Student Senate filled the Dodge Ballroom at 7:30 p.m., and the student government went over goals for the rest of the year.
However, the SGA’s first meeting actually took place before classes even started. On Jan. 17, the annual SGA Retreat took place in Judd Gymnasium. The retreat brought the Executive Board and Student Senate together for a day of bonding and learning.
“We had a team of leadership development people come in, Lonnie and Steve from Leadership Voyage, which is a private company that just does retreats,” said SGA President Kristina Dupuis. “We did a lot of team building exercises, a lot of things that related to work strategies, bringing SGA into the campus; it was really, really enlightening. We had a good time.”
Sunday night’s meeting was a first for Steven Carra, the newly appointed vice president of student affairs. After previously serving as a senator, Carra had a more active role during Sunday night’s meeting as he outlined his plan for the upcoming SGA elections. These elections will take place March 22, but the members of the SGA have a vast amount of work to get done before the elections can happen. Election packets must go out and word about the elections needs to be spread.
“Anyone who wants to run for a position has to read through the packets, answer a few simple questions and fill out their information,” said Carra. “Then they need to get 50 signatures of their classmates, and this is extremely important because not only do you have their support on a piece of paper, but also you have to introduce yourselves, form a little bit of a relationship. They get to know your face, you get to know theirs; it’s just as important.”
In addition to the work Carra and his Student Affairs Committee will be doing to get students interested in running for office, Public Relations Coordinator Becca Jacobson and her committee is planning several activities to remind students to vote. Jacobson already has several ideas, including a poster campaign and a veritable blitz of face-to-face reminders to vote online in March.
The entire student government organization is taking elections seriously this year. With several seniors on the Executive Board graduating, President Dupuis is looking for senators to step up in a major way. Dupuis herself, although she is not graduating, will have to step down from her post at the end of the year. She urged the General Council to consider running for SGA President.
“I have two part-time jobs, I’m in a full-time relationship, I’m taking 19 credits and I still have time to knit and watch Little House on the Prairie,” said Dupuis, as she encouraged those at the meeting that serving as SGA President would not interfere with the rest of their responsibilities.
With elections coming up soon, be prepared to see flyers around campus, to be asked for a signature on an election packet and to be encouraged to vote. And when March 22 comes around, log onto PrideNet and vote for your student representative.
Josh Ernst may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org