SGA leaders share insights from American Student Government Association Conference

SGA President Ben Carrington and Class and Club Treasurer Allie Flood proposed a new agenda for the year focused on advocacy over the allocation of funds during SGA’s weekly meeting on Sept. 18.

Carrington and Flood were inspired to create the new agenda by attending sessions at the American Student Government Association Conference at Emerson College on Aug. 4.

Carrington was particularly impressed by advice he received from Michael Anthony, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at Rochester Community and Technical College.

“He really talked to me about making sure the campus is inclusive and making sure we celebrate our diversity,” said Carrington.

Flood said advice offered by Vicky Owles, another speaker at the conference with over 25 years of experience, was very important. 

Flood said, “We aren’t just a bank to give money out to clubs and things like that. Advocacy is our main job, and we want to attract all kinds of students to come here.”

Carrington and Flood outlined strategic goals for the year.

First, they want to make students aware that Open Forum is a time set aside during every SGA meeting to give students the opportunity to voice their concerns.

Second, they would like to survey students who are unable to attend meetings in order to get feedback. They also intend to broadcast SGA meetings online for those students.

They also brought up the possibility of having a monthly luncheon for students to talk about issues with President F. Javier Cevallos.

Flood suggested adding a president’s report to The Gatepost.

“Last year there had been some – reporting,” said Flood.

Carrington said, “I want to have a president’s report for The Gatepost. This can be a way for the students to be involved and to know what SGA is doing. My whole goal this year for SGA is to be clear on communicating, and I want to make sure what we are doing in here gets to every student on campus.

“With that, we want to get more students involved in Open Forum. It’s a great opportunity for students to get involved. That’s my big aspiration for SGA – to have students coming in, voicing their concerns,” Carrington added.

During SGA’s Open Forum session, Secretary Erin Johnson expressed concern about lack of blue light police boxes on campus.

“I work at 3 a.m. and that road [Adams Road] is all kinds of scary. If we could get a blue box over there, I know I would feel a lot safer,” said Johnson.

[Editor’s Note: There is one blue light police box on Adams Road.]

In his President’s Report, Carrington announced that the SGA overnight retreat preparations are ongoing.

“There will be a fire – get your marshmallows,” said Carrington.

Vice President Alex Backer suggested conducting a survey for students to see if they would support having water-bottle-filling stations placed in all residence halls.

In other news, Student Activity Treasurer Driana Lebron announced that her committee allocated $425.10 to M.I.S.S. for their Woman Crush Wednesday event.

Lebron’s committee also funded $3,390.75 for the Comic Con event for the Comic Book Club.

Robert Johnson, vice president of Comic Book Club, said, “With this money, we aim to supply students with transportation to and from Rhode Island, and to have enough funds to buy 50 tickets for those interested to come on the trip on November 3.”

Advisor David Smailes praised SGA.

Smailes said, “I think what we are doing here is really important. You’re serving the public.”

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