You receive emails from us reminding you to vote in various elections. You may hear tidbits from your friends on Tuesday nights as they walk out of Senate. Or you might even take a fleeting glance at that neon comment board in the Coop. But what actually happens behind those closed doors?
Does the Student Government Associaton (SGA) actually produce any significant changes or contributions to campus? Well, it is time to end the skepticism and finally fill you in on what we actually do. We’re excited about our work and all the positive changes that we make around campus, and we would like to share just what projects, small and large, we’re working on, and what discussions are taking place as the senators deliberate in Lawrence and the executive board congregates in the Coop.
This year in SGA, we are working towards a number of exciting goals and projects. We aim to make Colgate a safe, fun and comfortable place to live, with all the conveniences we can provide for our student body. For example, we all know how uncomfortable it can be to walk home from the bars downtown in the snow after your jacket has been taken. So, SGA is bringing you industrial strength nametags that will hopefully deter even the most confused Jug go-er from mistakenly taking your jacket!
In addition to making college life great while at Colgate, we also would like to make leaving campus a little easier as well. This is why we have brought back the ride board, which allows students to find people who will be traveling in their direction for breaks or just weekends away. Though the ride board is an exciting addition to the comment board in the Coop, even more exciting are our recent efforts to bring Zip Cars to campus.
Zip Cars would allow anyone with a license (even an international license) to rent a car for a certain period of time. We have already talked to the company, obtained a proposal for Colgate, and introduced this proposal to several members of the administration. Hopefully by the end of the year, if not sooner, we will have two new cars for students to rent.
The SGA is also working towards further strengthening the relationship between Colgate and Hamilton. We are working to bring back an old Colgate tradition that has fallen by the wayside in recent years: the Clean Up Broad Street initiative, where different Greek organizations would rotate cleaning up Broad Street on Sunday mornings to ensure that our weekend fun has not created a mess for Hamilton residents.
Additionally, plans are in the works to add garbage cans up and down Broad Street, furthering our goal of cleaning up and solidifying our relationship with the town. On a similar note, we are also creating a discount card to be used at downtown restaurants and businesses. This way, Colgate students can benefit from special deals, while simultaneously supporting local businesses.
We have also engaged in more serious, and very significant discussions on campus regarding the health and safety of students. This semester, there have been an unprecedented amount of students sent to the hospital due to alcohol related abuses. We wish to address this issue in a way that is fair and safe for everyone on campus, which is why the SGA supports and continues to urge the implementation of an amnesty policy and a “Good Samaritan” law. Under these proposed policies, if you call campus safety to help a friend in need of medical assistance, you are not at risk of anydisciplinary action.
As you may also be aware, there are currently changes being proposed regarding our disciplinary system. The SGA is dedicated to reviewing this new “Points System,” in order to ensure that a fair and effective new system is eventually employed. On Thursday, November 4, Colgate’s SGA hosted an open forum to discuss the points system and to answer and address student concerns. The meeting was a great success: many useful suggestions were proposed and a number of concerns were clarified.
Hopefully, the happenings of the SGA have become a little clearer. We are a dedicated group of students who want to complete projects that benefit the student body in all spheres of university life. There is always a lot going on within the SGA, and there are new and easily accessible ways to stay up-to-date on the latest activities, policies and discussions as they occur.
We look forward to achieving this semester’s goals and continuing to bring to you all that this school has to offer.