This past Sunday, November 11, the Student Government Association (SGA) held its second annual State of the Association Address in Golden Au-ditorium. SGA President senior Matt Ford was joined by the four current class presidents to discuss the various accomplishments and initiatives that the student government has taken on.
The first State of the Association Address took place in February. It was established under the admin-istration of former SGA President Mike Miller ’12 who hoped to make the SGA more transparent to stu-dents. On Sunday, Ford continued the tradition in front of a number of Colgate students and administrators in attendance.
“One of the best parts about this organization is its ability to be respon-sive to the needs of the student body,” Ford said in his address Sunday. “Fill-ing that difficult role has been the most impressive component of the Student Government this year.”
The student body elected Ford and Vice President senior Joe Trapp at the end of the spring semester. Since that time, they have hand selected an Executive Board to work alongside the 48 student senators from across all class years with the task of making a more effective and efficient SGA.
Some of the accomplishments that Ford touched on Sunday in-cluded an overhaul of the Budget Allocations Committee (BAC), subsidizing student bus rides to the Syracuse airport during breaks, improving upon Colgate’s drinking policies and resurrecting Welcome Back Week traditions.
One of the most important ini-tiatives under Ford has been to try to strengthen relationships between the Colgate community and the Village of Hamilton.
“Fostering a more cohesive Uni-versity and town dynamic has been the cornerstone of our administra-tion,” Ford said. “We are unrelenting in this pursuit.”
Throughout the past three months, Ford and several members of the SGA Executive Board, in co-ordination with the SGA’s External Affairs Committee, have met with Hamilton Mayor Margaret Miller, Police Chief Rick Gifford, as well as a number of residents from the Village of Hamilton. It is through this open dialogue that the SGA has looked to identify the ways in which the rela-tionships can be improved between the intertwined communities.
On Sunday evening Ford also discussed the SGA’s response to the recent controversy that took place during Coming Out Week.
“This organization often works in the background of student or-ganizations, but occasionally we join together to speak on behalf of every student in the Association,” Ford said. “In response to the ap-palling and homophobic epithets made during Coming Out Week, the Senate and I brought a unani-mously-passed resolution to a dis-cussion in the Women’s Studies Center. So far, this has been my proudest moment as the President of SGA.”
Beyond the commitment to continue the State of the Associa-tion address, the SGA has furthered its efforts to make itself a more transparent and accountable body of representatives by having fire-side chats in the O’Connor Cam-pus Center, established open office hours and created a functioning SGA website where all minutes and bills are posted for the public to see.
“I can confidently say that the SGA has never been more open and progressive,” Ford said. “The State of the Association is good. However, our work is not over, our role is not decreasing, our in-fluence is not dwindling. We will continue to be the voice for the Colgate student body.”
Contact Cody Semrau at [email protected]