SGA: Ben Becker

SGA: Ben Becker

For the Student Government Assosiation’s (SGA) vice president of communications senior Ben Becker, SGA is undoubtedly his top priority on Colgate’s campus. 

“I’m pretty much 100% committed to SGA,” he said with pride.

Aside from the SGA, the political science and computer science double concentrator  has also been involved with debate, the club baseball team and the a cappella group the Colgate Resolutions.

Hailing from Center Valley, Pennsylvania, Becker was drawn to Colgate because of the people. Now, in his final year, he has spent the last three years representing the very people who drew him here.

As vice president of communications under the current SGA administration, Becker has a lot of work to do in the face of COVID-19. His job entails the association’s communication duties, including sending out SGA emails, maintaining social media accounts, the newsletter and website.

 “Part of my role with [COVID-19] might be arranging all the Zoom meetings between the senate and the cabinet meetings, those sorts of things,” Becker added. 

However, Becker said he’s struggled with SGA’s transition to digital formats amid the pandemic. 

“It’s hard to have that sort of ‘lean in and lean out’ atmosphere over Zoom. There was not as much debate or conversation,” Becker said. “We couldn’t have speakers or anything like that… those things kind of get lost when we have these Zoom meetings”

The SGA is still in the process of navigating what it will look like this coming year. Efficient communication has been a struggle for many due to the global pandemic, but Becker is up to the challenge of creatively finding ways to make it productive. Throughout his four years at Colgate, he has filled many different leadership positions within SGA since he joined as a first-year. Becker was an experienced debater in high school, so it felt natural for him to run for senate.

“When you run for senate as a first-year, it’s just like, oh my gosh, all of these people who really don’t know me, are like, ‘oh, I trust this guy to represent us,’ and it’s a really cool feeling,” Becker said.

During his position in the Senate as a first-year, Becker was part of the government affairs committee. He edited bylaws in the constitution and took on the project of standardizing the SGA newsletter.

“I met with the director of communications back then and we worked together to figure out how to outline the newsletter for future directors of communication. Little did I know I would be that future vice president of communications,” he said.

And in his current role, Becker still uses the newsletter that he helped to format as a first-year in the senate.  

“It defined how the newsletter has been formed for the past couple of years, so that was a huge thing.”

During Becker’s first semester at Colgate, not only was he voted to the senate, but he was also appointed as the transparency liaison where he kept track of the votes in meetings  and maintained any equipment. Then, in the second semester, he worked his way up to co-chairing the government affairs committee.

During Becker’s sophomore year, he was elected to be speaker of the senate, which he said greatly developed his leadership skills.

 “I enjoyed watching all of the debates happening in the Senate, it made me a good facilitator. I learned that a leader also has to listen.”

Becker participated in the Washington, D.C. study group his spring semester of sophomore year, and although he was far from Colgate, he remained keenly involved in politics during his semester interning as a research fellow at the Center for Political Accountability. His research for the non-profit was featured in an article in the New York Times, and since then Becker has remained working for the organization, and was recently offered a full time position post-graduation.

“I love what we do; I love my job,” he said enthusiastically.

During his junior year, Becker assisted last year’s executive with an entire SGA constitutional revision. While he’s worked in multiple leadership roles across the SGA throughout his four years, they share a common goal of transparency.

“I’m particularly passionate about transparency, that’s kind of been my theme. I really see the SGA as the student union. We are meant to lobby for the students. I think that that idea has been very lost in the past,” Becker said

Becker hopes that with more transparency, the SGA will be taken more seriously as a representation of the student body.