SGA Plans to Enhance College-Community Relationship

The Student Government Association (SGA) addressed various events and issues this week, including the student body protest organized by the Association of Critical Collegians (ACC). The SGA Executive Board and various SGA members were directly involved with the sit-in at the Hurwitz Admissions Center this past week and have coordinated a means of establishing a more inclusive

Colgate community.

SGA President senior Sarah Rende and Vice President senior John Lee  released a joint statement in an email to the Colgate community calling attention to the protest and its intents and aims. The two student body leaders strongly agreed with the idea of creating a more inclusive community at Colgate and resolved to take the necessary steps to do so. They spoke for SGA in ensuring that the student government will make sure that commitments made by the administration are brought to fruition and that the administration will work transparently with all individuals and groups on campus.

The SGA is also working with community members to ensure a more positive and respectful relationship on the part of students with regard to the Hamilton community. The SGA received reports that the downtown Hamilton area has been hampered with the effects of the nightlife. Hamilton community members called attention to the town’s disrepair, which is mostly due to the activities of various Colgate students. Trash and other similar items have been left on the streets and sidewalks of the small community. The SGA has resolved to create a more upstanding student body reputation in the downtown area. 

Rende and Lee met with Mayor Margaret Miller and Hamilton Village Police Chief Rick Gifford to discuss ways in which students can be more respectful of town residents and town property. The group discussed finding ways to increase Cruiser stops downtown to limit student activities on the streets and sidewalks, to better promote late-night programming activities and options on the Colgate campus and to increase student responsibility in the Hamilton community. SGA members have continued these discussions and are working to create a means of following through on this goal.

The SGA Executive Board also collaborated to establish a “town cleanup” this past weekend and various SGA members participated in the event. SGA members participated in picking up trash and cleaning the Hamilton downtown area at 9 a.m. Sunday morning. The event is a first step toward establishing a healthier, more mindful relationship between students and the Hamilton community. 

“It’s important to ask ourselves, ‘Would I treat my own home this way? Would I want my family to wake up to streets trashed with beer cans and vomit?’ Until then, we will continue to work on bettering relations with the residents of Hamilton. Our SGA Community Service Day is just one example of how we plan on doing so,” Rende said. 

SGA Senate members in a meeting this past week also appointed select students to serve as representatives of the student body in various University Governance Board committees. The committees include the Academic Affairs Board and the Committee on Admission and Financial Aid. These committees, which are led by administrators and faculty members, serve to establish new policies and initiatives designed to positively enhance the Colgate experience. The students appointed to these positions will work alongside these administrators and faculty members ensuring that the student body’s voice is represented in the agenda of each committee. 

The SGA will continue to collaborate with the student body and serve as a resource to connect students with Colgate administrators, faculty and Hamilton residents in the attempt to improve the Colgate experience for all members of the community.