Since my first semester at Colgate, I have dedicated a large part of my time and energy to making Colgate a better place for all students. In order to positively impact the school on an even larger scale, I am running for and hoping to get elected to the position of President of the Student Government Association (SGA) with Mike Newberg as my running mate for the 2010-2011 academic year. I honestly believe that Mike and I are the most qualified for the position because of our experience, dedication and innovativeness.
Over the past three years Mike and I have been active members of both SGA and the wider Colgate Community, holding positions such as Senator, Chair of the Senate Student Affairs Committee and Senior Policy Coordinator on the executive board. Through our work on SGA, we have learned how Colgate really works from the administration down.We have seen firsthand how receptive and appreciative the faculty, staff and administration are to both our and other students’ opinions concerning student issues and Colgate at large. However, we have also come to realize just how large the communication gap is between the administration, students and SGA, and more generally, how big the gap between all parts of the Colgate community is. Too often, I hear students complain about one thing or another, be it the meal plan or parking or on- and off-campus housing and do nothing about these issues, while most of the time the parties that can do something about these problems do not even know there is a problem.
As SGA president, my main concern would be improving communication on campus, not only between the administration and the student body, but also between different student groups and between SGA and the student body. We have made some progress over the past year in this regard, with www.colgatesga.com and the new comment board by CLSI in the Coop being just two examples, but more needs to be done. One way in which we will improve communication between SGA and the students is by creating and distributing a SGA publication once a semester that will contain information on SGA members, projects and available positions. In addition, we will create an SGA news program to be shown on CUTV that will broadcast Senate meetings live. However, SGA works for you and in order for us to do our job, we need to know what you think. Similarly, for the administration to do their jobs of improving your Colgate experience, they need to know what you think. To address this, we will organize dinners and events where students can get to know and converse with other students, SGA members and the administrators and faculty in a relaxed atmosphere.
Mike and I have many other plans for how to improve Colgate other than just by facilitating communication, which we have already looked into the feasibility of achieving. We will create a belongings-retrieval system with the Jug so that students will not have to venture to the Jug at 11:00 to look for a lost coat or phone days later. We will also organize an end of the year garage sale event where students can sell their unwanted furniture, appliances, clothes, books, etc. to other students that might want them for the following year.
One last initiative that we will work on that does relate back to our goal of improved communication is setting up a mentoring program between freshmen and sophomores so that freshmen can communicate with and question a sophomore they have been paired with about Colgate before even arriving on campus. This can be extended to transfer students and international students, which would get paired with students in their own grade if entering Colgate as something other than a freshman.
Next year it will be vital for lines of communication to be clear and open: Colgate will welcome our new president, Jeffrey Herbst. We as a student body need to make sure we are heard, so that Colgate can be made the best it can be. The first step is simply voting in SGA elections in the first place, but beyond that, we hope you will choose to support the ticket best suited to bring all sides of the Colgate community together for the common good, students, faculty, administrators, alumni and others.
I encourage you to check out our website, www.VoteLizandMike.com and to join our Facebook group to read more about Mike and I, our platform and what else we do around campus. Please feel free to email either Mike or myself if you have questions, comments or suggestions, or would like to help with our campaign. We honestly believe that we are the best candidates for the job. We bring a wealth of good ideas, strong convictions and a proven ability to get things done that can make next year one of Colgate’s best, but we need your help to get there. We know what makes ‘Gate great and we are committed to making it even better!