It’s simple physics: When two things collide, they exchange energy. The Loyola University New Orleans student body should anticipate that same result as the University Programming Board and the Student Government Association merge for the 2012- 2013 academic school year.
The decision was made in order to reduce the overlapping of programming and to increase the productivity of SGA by focusing effort on legislative issues.
“In my four years on SGA we have put on a number of programs for the students, and while those were mostly successful, it was my opinion and the opinion of others involved that having the University Programming Board take the programming side of SGA would free up time and resources for SGA,” Michael Morin, outgoing SGA president, said.
According to Jenna Rae Vercillo, assistant director of student leadership, the idea originated when she and student organization leaders, including Michael Morin and David Garcia, outgoing UPB president, attended the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference in July 2011. Many other campus models exhibited a partnership between programming boards and student government.
“We decided that if we’re going to do something, we should do something now instead of just talking about it. There is a high turn over in college, priorities change, and we need to keep the ball rolling,” Vercillo said.
The e-board will be restructured to include vice-presidents instead of directors, and the vice-president of programming will be the UPB president. This will insure that senators are focusing on more thoughtful, more long lasting, and more impactful initiatives, Vercillo said.
Margaret Vienne, incoming vice president of programming, is optimistic about the merge, believing that it will bring coherence and organization.
“It will help to incorporate programming into the larger efforts by the SGA to set general direction for the student body. In effect, we will be able to program in support of the SGA’s efforts as well as have the support of the SGA in all of our endeavors,” Vienne said.
Michael Morin trusts that the decision to implement these changes was made in the best interest of both organizations and the student body in general.
“I feel very confident that I have left the Student Government Association in the hands of capable leaders. I expect the changes to be a bit tough for some members to handle, especially veteran members, but it will be a process that will ultimately benefit everyone. Students should expect to see a lot more of SGA on campus,” he said.
Morin believes that the new entity will bring a greater “sense of community and student life” to Loyola.
“Students should expect a very united organization, accessible people, less over programming, and stronger programming that addresses their needs and that they can be excited about,” she said.
Jennie Gutierrez can be reached at email@example.com