By Karis Fuller
The Student Government Association (SGA), a body of elected students acting on behalf of the student population and led by senior President Giovanna Domingo and junior Vice President Olivia Kavanaugh, have released their plans for the spring semester. Domingo and Kavanaugh are joined on the executive board by Senate Advisor Stefanie Giovine, Treasurer Louis Pisano, Secretary Madeline Nunley and Parliamentarian Adam Silverstein.
Domingo and Kavanaugh agree on their aims as SGA leaders. “Our goal as a student government is to make sure that we represent and be seen as a voice for the student body,” Kavanaugh said. “We look forward to and are optimistic with what is going to happen on campus this semester,” she added.
So what is going to happen on campus this semester? One of the biggest events for the SGA this spring is the biannual town hall meeting, where students have the opportunity to speak with SGA directly. “We will be hosting a town hall meeting this semester to hear about student’s concerns. As student government we want our goals to be based on the students’ needs. For example, SGA is very focused on advocating for students to receive side door access,” Domingo said.
SGA also plays a huge role in fundraising on campus. Their annual Relay For Life event takes place this semester on April 12 at 4.p.m in the Pratt Recreation Center. “We take on a huge role in fundraising for Relay for Life, through events and raffles,” Kavanaugh said.
This semester, SGA will also be interacting with the athletic department on a more regular basis. “I believe that similar to SGA, the athletic community is a very influential part of our community. SGA is planning on inviting a SAAC representative to every meeting,” Domingo said. The SAAC body is much like the SGA, but focuses on issues for student athletes. By working with SAAC frequently, SGA is able to address concerns raised by student athletes, such as more athlete friendly options in the dining hall. “We are looking forward to providing any student support they may need at games and matches, encouraging other students on campus to have that same mentality and well-rounded school spirit,” Kavanaugh said. Domingo spoke of the plans to collaborate with not only the athletic body, but also clubs and Greek life.
Caitlin Johnstone, junior representative for the swim team, believes that encouraging the athletic community to be more involved in student government can only result in success. “It’s really encouraging that SGA want to pay attention to the issues raised in SAAC meetings,” Johnstone said. “It gives me and the other SAAC representatives a chance to express the wishes of the athletic body to those who can do something about it,” she added.
These events the SGA take part in do not come about without challenges. Domingo believes that the hardest challenge is getting in contact with the students. “I think the biggest challenge SGA faces is having access to students to hear their concerns. All SGA senators conduct office hours once a week, and we hope to encourage students to stop by with any of their needs,” Domingo said. The offices are situated in Hillwood Commons.
SGA did not meet over winter break, and will have its first meeting of the spring semester on January 22. The basic plan for the semester is already set, according to Domingo, and SGA is excited to get the semester underway and to further encourage student involvement. Along with voicing concerns, Kavanaugh and her peers encourage students to take part in SGA.“The best way a student can get involved in SGA is to apply for a position if they feel they want to help in continuing to make a positive impact at this school,” Kavanaugh said.