SGA Update: The 2011-2012 Year in Review

 Throughout the past year, the Student Government Association (SGA) has worked diligently to implement a number of changes around the Colgate campus. With final exams just around the corner, it is that time of year to look back and recollect on all that the SGA has accomplished.

One of the SGA’s most prom-ising transformations has been its efforts to become more trans-parent among the student body. Back in February, the SGA host-ed its first ever State of the As-sociation Address in the Memo-rial Chapel. This event brought SGA President senior Mike Miller, as well as all four Class Council presidents before the Colgate community, allowing them to discuss their respective accomplishments and answer any questions from the audience. The State of the Association Ad-dress will now become an annual fixture, occurring at the begin-ning of the spring semester each school year.

Furthermore, the SGA con-ducted a number of Fireside Chats throughout the year. The Chats al-lowed for the O’Connor Campus Center’s (Coop) fireplaces to be relit once more, while also giving students the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns with their student representatives.

Beyond its advances in trans-parency, the SGA has also achieved many more visually ap-parent accomplishments. Back in the fall, Zipcars made their way onto campus for the first time. The Zipcars have been a huge suc-cess among students, giving those without a car the opportunity to travel outside of Hamilton.

Working with a number of restaurants in town, the SGA also produced a Student Discount Card for cheaper dining at places like Nichols & Beal, La Iguana, Barge Canal and the Colgate Inn. Although the card was only temporary, the SGA is in the process of making a more permanent card for the upcoming year. Donovan’s Pub, although largely dormant throughout the past few years, has also become a revitalized dining option thanks to the efforts of the SGA. Open for dinner throughout the week, Donovan’s Pub also operates as a social hub for live performances and trivia nights. In addition, the SGA hosted its first ever Parker Commons Party back in November to provide an alternative social option to students. Similar events are already being planned for the fall.

The SGA also brought GetInvolved to campus, which has been described as a Facebook for student groups. With over a thousand groups on the site already, it gives students a better means of managing and staying up-to-date with the various clubs and organizations on campus. Junior Matt Ford, the SGA president-elect, was one of the main proponents of GetInvolved. Ford looks to get off to a promising start when Miller hands him the reins in the next few weeks.

There are already big plans in the works for the upcoming school year. One of the most highly anticipated changes will be the implementation of a GPS system on the Colgate Cruisers. This will allow students to track the Cruisers on their smartphones and computers instead of waiting out in the cold. Trayless dining will also be put into effect at Frank Dining Hall next fall. This sustainability effort is expected to reduce the University’s food waste and energy consumption as well as its overall carbon footprint. The possibility of online syllabi is also close to becoming a reality. This would give students the chance to see what is going to be expected of them in a course before they actually register for it.

If next year’s SGA is able to accomplish as much as it has this past year, the student body is in good hands.

“This year has been one of the most productive and eventful in the history of the SGA,” Miller said. “The 80-plus students involved have accomplished more than I could have possibly hoped for in just eight months. I want to thank all of them for their hard work, time and energy.”