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Column: SGA and students should be connected

By Courtney Williams
On March 27, 2014

  • GUEST COLUMN

I believe that the role of the Student Government Association is to educate, advocate, celebrate and provide outreach to the student body.
The mission and goals of SGA are achieved by serving as the link between the student body and administration, facilitating open dialogues with students, delivering events that commemorate the rich culture of the university and the city of New Orleans and enacting positive change for the university community.
Serving as a liaison between students, faculty, staff and administration of the university is one of the key roles for the students leading SGA. This is intended to serve as a vehicle for students' voices to be represented in discussions and decision making that can affect the university community. This year, members of the SGA are represented on several university-wide committees, such as the Academic and Student Affairs committees of the Board of Trustees, Diversity and Affirmative Action Committee, Commencement Committee, Facilities Planning Committee, University Budget Committee and many more.
Additionally, the SGA president regularly meets with the university president, vice president for Student Affairs and other members of the president's cabinet to relay feedback from students.
In order to be an effective advocate for student concerns and issues, SGA employs a variety of methods to connect with students including SGA Senate, outreach programs and special events. The active solicitation of student feedback is key to the success of SGA, and I believe this will be a top priority for the incoming administration. During my time at Loyola, I have seen SGA respond to the concerns of the student body, such as reducing our carbon footprint and promoting more green initiatives on campus.
The organization has plans to continue green efforts in the future by working with administration to enhance the recycling program. This is just one example of the ways that SGA has created tangible changes on campus.
In addition to advocating for students, SGA also focuses on building community and supporting students on campus through chartering of student organizations and hosting university tradition events, including monthly Third Friday programs. Students and organizations are supported through resources such as program allocations, conference travel, software discount and testing discounts. SGA continues to seek out ways to make the Loyola experience better for students.
It is my hope that SGA will continue to foster strong relationships with students, and I am optimistic that they will have a strong presence at New Student Orientation and Wolf Pack Welcome so that new students are aware of SGA's role on campus and the many opportunities that are available to take part in leadership and student governance.
I anticipate next year's SGA holding several open forums and town hall meetings to address concerns and keep students abreast of what is happening at the university. I am excited for SGA to continue to host events and programs that promote school spirit and build community. It is my hope that SGA will continue to be an effective advocate for the student body. I look forward to the future of SGA at Loyola.
Courtney Williams may be reached at cwilliam@loyno.edu 


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