Before fall break, members of the Student Government Association (SGA) organized a brown bag lunch, which was open to the entire Colgate community. The topic of discussion was Colgate’s academic and social campus climate. Over 100 Colgate students participated, providing a strong breadth of diverse perspectives on Colgate’s campus experience. The brown bag lunch was designed to create a channel through which students could freely discuss their social and academic concerns about campus life with various SGA members.
To enhance the success of the brown bag lunch, SGA President senior Sarah Rende and SGA Vice President senior John Lee broke students into smaller groups, allowing for personal discussion to take place and providing students with greater opportunities to voice their individual concerns. Various ideas within each small group were ultimately shared with all of those participating at the end of the brown bag lunch.
The overarching theme of the student concerns was to generate a greater modicum of respect among the students and various other members of the Colgate community. Some in attendance felt that the establishment of respect in the classroom needed to be translated to other components of the Colgate experience.
Many of the ideas shared are those that can be accomplished during this academic year while others are more long-term projects. The SGA Executive Board met again this past Sunday and discussed the brown bag in greater detail. Members voiced the concerns of those participating in the brown bag and debated the most effective means of addressing these issues. The Senate meeting on Tuesday evening also entertained many of these concerns and ideas for addressing these problems. It provided a means through which senators can discuss the opportunities available to effect positive change on campus in the form of resolutions and bills.
“Conversations like these are essential to a healthy campus climate. We want Colgate to be a place where students will respect, support and empathize with one another on a day-to-day basis. SGA looks forward to continuing discussions like these throughout the year, because having a safe space where students can air grievances and suggestions is incredibly
important,” Rende said.
The Executive Board felt that the brown bag was successful and signified a strong first step towards actively improving campus life. Members felt the brown bag offered a great opportunity for students to meet with SGA representatives and discuss plans for the future as well as the current state of affairs. Recognizing this, SGA is seeking to continue these discussions through future planned brown bags.
The SGA intends to take an active role in effecting change on campus after witnessing many events designed to raise awareness concerning campus issues, including the recent campus protest that took place in Colgate’s
Hurwitz Admission Center.