In an effort to increase its transparency among the Colgate community, the Student Government Association (SGA) held its first ever State of the Association address on Tuesday, February 28 in the Colgate Memorial Chapel. SGA President senior Mike Miller was joined by the four current class presidents in addressing the student body and administration in attendance, with each president giving a speech that touched upon both past accomplishments and future objectives.
“This evening serves as an opportunity to bring the community together and share the initiatives and policies of the Student Government Association,” SGA Vice President Andrew Schlenger said in his opening comments. “The SGA has come a long way in the past few years. More than anything, tonight’s about being open with the student body.”
When it comes to the transparency of the SGA, Tuesday’s speakers admitted that in the past it has been unsatisfactory.
“I remember awkward conversations where I was asked, ‘Wait, you’re my class president? What exactly do you do?'” Class of 2015 President Zach Davis said.
This reality holds true for much of the student body, particularly underclassmen, who have difficulty recounting what their class leaders have accomplished, let alone their class president’s name.
But the State of the Association address is what many believe to be a step in the right direction.
Sophomore Sam Flood, SGA Student Life Policy Coordinator, came up with the idea of having a State of the Association address last fall, and has been an instrumental force in turning the idea into a reality.
“The State of the Association address will be a good starting point for where the SGA is going to go,” Flood said.
Tuesday’s address may have made it clear that greater openness is needed between the SGA and the student body, but it also made it evident that throughout the past year, the Association has been keeping itself busy.
Peter Stein, President of the Class of 2012, noted that his class council has been working hard to “unite, engage and represent” their class members, including a first-year dormitory reunion downtown, helping to organize the Real World program, as well as establishing a memorial scholarship to celebrate the life of classmate Vic Krivitski.
As a whole, the SGA has managed to accomplish even more: introducing Zipcars to campus, revitalizing Donovan’s Pub, introducing a student discount card, improving the Colgate Cruiser schedule and organizing Gate-Town Connection events, to name a few.
But Miller noted that the SGA does not intend to stop there, stating that there is still more to look forward to throughout the remainder of the semester. Shortly after spring break, a Cruiser GPS system is expected to become active, allowing students to get the location of the Cruiser right on their smartphones. The SGA is also working on having professors post old syllabi on Moodle so that students can see what they should expect from a class before they register for it. Other plans include revamping the Student Union, creating two fifteen-minute parking spots next to the O’Connor Campus Center and creating a special celebration for the upcoming Colgate Day, April 13.
“My hope is for a future Colgate that is more inclusive, transparent and just as vibrant as it is today,” Miller said Tuesday. “Colgate is our home, and it is up to us to shape it in a way that benefits the entire student body.”
“The State of the Association is good and improving,” Miller said.
Contact Cody Semrau at [email protected]