Carl Stiles, the Director of Student Activities and Campus Union, called them “the ears of the students” on Sunday night as the group of assembled students began their first meeting of the year.
The General Council of the Student Government Association, or SGA, convened with the Executive Board of SGA, as well as all of the class senators, for their first meeting of the year this past Sunday, Sept. 25.
This meeting was exemplary of the nuts-and-bolts work that SGA puts in on a daily basis. While the rest of campus was at dinner or preparing for the next day’s classes, this dedicated group of students spent two hours of their Sunday evening working to better life on campus for the rest of the student body.
“People are concerned about their population,” said SGA President Kristina Dupuis. “They want to make sure everything they want is accomplished and to really get their opinion out because we live here.”
Because it was the first meeting of the year, much time was spent going over various procedures and getting the new members used to the meeting and their roles in SGA. Despite the fact that many of the senators were new to their jobs, this did not prevent a lively discussion taking place on ways to try and improve the life on the Springfield College campus.
“We just went around and put our [opinions] into what our goals are for the school year,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Kaitlin Robinson.
The General Council discussed several ideas and problems on campus that had been brought to their attention by the student body. Among these suggestions were fixing washers and dryers in various residence halls, helping students utilize Cheney Dining Hall more effectively and helping students gain use of the resources in the Wellness Center. The discussion was lively, as senators debated the best way to accomplish solutions to the problems presented.
The council also performed another one of their main functions when they reviewed a group applying for club status. The General Council listened as junior Maura Stetkiewicz and several others presented their idea for an Education Club on campus. After the 20-minute presentation, the SGA members asked the group questions before sending the club hopefuls out of the room for a brief discussion and vote. The Education Club was approved and will have a year to prove that they are a viable club.
“It went really well actually,” said Vice President of Business Affairs Michael Rama. “Everyone’s attitudes were really positive, and the Education Club came in and did a wonderful job. We gave them the ‘A-OK’ to be another club on campus. I feel like we had a good group of people here.”
This attitude was prevalent throughout the room after the meeting, as several members expressed excitement for the year ahead.
“It’s going to be so much fun,” said Robinson. “My biggest goal is for people to get involved and [understand] that our job is not boring, it’s really serious, but we also have a great lot of fun with it.”
The General Council meetings are open to the public and the dates are posted on PrideNet. Students are encouraged to attend and speak up, even if they are not involved with SGA.
“The more, the merrier,” said Dupuis. “We’d love to hear different voices, different opinions. It’s really nice to have people come and voice their opinion.”
The next General Council meeting will take place Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dodge Ballroom.
Josh Ernst may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org