[sidebar title="How can freshmen get involved with Student Government? " align="right" background="on" border="left" shadow="on"]
1. Run for one of the five freshman senator positions
Freshman Senator Qualifications - August 28 and 29 in the Connell Student Center Lobby
2. Sign up to be a student correspondent
Freshmen can apply to be a part of a specific committee by reaching out to the chairman of that committee. A student correspondent is someone who wants to help out SGA but isn’t in an elected position.
Freshman Senator Election Dates: Sept. 5 and 6
The Student Government Association wants to welcome students back with answers and results.
Junior Adam Penland and Senior Shruthi Vikraman will serve as SGA President and Vice President for this school year. The duo’s election platform included getting more funding for student organizations, making student government more transparent and fixing problems with course registration.
More funding for student organizations
Penland and Vikraman said that they asked The Board of Appropriations to provide SGA with more funding towards the Fiscal Affairs Committee so that they can distribute it to student organizations.
“We were able to get that increase, and we received a $7,000 increase for SGA,” Penland said. “We are giving our Fiscal Affairs Committee $3,000 more, so now they have $98,000 that they can give to student organizations for events and yearly meetings.”
Penland and Vikraman also want to raise awareness about the option of receiving food funding for student organizations. Recognized groups can apply for this funding as long as it is used for educational and cultural purposes.
The Campus Outreach committee also received an increase in their budget that will help the new Action Plan subcommittee. This subcommittee was created last school year to help hear more student voices and get more of what the students want done.
“Last year, we were able to get student opinions, and more vegan and vegetarian options were something people were really looking for,” Vikraman said.
For this school year, Aramark, Mercer’s food service contractor, added a new hibachi bar in the Fresh Food Company cafeteria.
The newly-established Green committee received $3,200 in funding that will be used to help foster sustainability on campus.
“You will see more recycling bins at every residence hall and Greek house,” Vikraman said. “We want to grow the impact that this has around campus.”
More transparency in SGA
Penland and Vikraman want to publicize senate meetings more and make them more accessible to students.
They plan to broadcast senate meetings for students to watch using Facebook Live.
“We also want to have a couple of senate meetings that are in more open and accessible areas on campus,” Penland said. “So maybe senate on Cruz Plaza or in Heritage Hall. Every senate meeting is open to the public, but not many people know that.”
The first senate meeting of this school year will be Sept. 10. The location is to be determined.
Make registration a smoother process
“Thanks to the previous administration, we already have a relationship with IT to help make registration easier,” Penland said. “Shruthi and I are continuing to stay on top of IT to make sure it is regularly updated and accessible to students.”