The Student Government Association recently sent out a survey to students to get feedback about their role on campus.
Victoria Mayhall, political science sophomore and secretary of policies and initiatives, created the survey with the help of the SGA executive board. It asked for feedback from students about the productivity of SGA, communication and how aware students are of the services that SGA can provide for student organizations.
“I don’t think anything like this has been done before, at least not in recent history. I think the best way to know what students want, what students think we’re doing great, what students think are areas of improvement, is, you do a survey. That will reach a wider audience, and I think that’s the best way to get opinions,” Mayhall said.
Mayhall said they received a significant amount of feedback from the survey.
“I was really excited to see the amount of responses we got,” she said. “I think we got over 300, which was really neat because we want to hear as many voices as possible. I would definitely like this to continue because I think it’s important for future administrations to see how the student body thinks we are doing and what we can do better.”
Mayhall said, from the results of the survey, SGA determined that students want better communication. She said they have decided to explore more contact with social media instead of just email.
Maddy Donatelli, acting sophomore, said she appreciates what SGA does for the campus.
“I do like how the student government is very active,” Donatelli said. “They’re always putting something on, and I just think, the more the better.”
Gareth Forsberg, acting sophomore, said he thinks the SGA senate should be more representative of the different schools on campus.
“They should have one person in the senate from the school of theatre, school of music, business, you know,” Forsberg said. “I don’t know how that person would be chosen, I don’t know if it’s like the faculty would approach people that they deem appropriate to represent them or if it could be through the work studies of each school, but I think that’s a conversation that would be good to have.”
Alison Sloan, music theater sophomore, said she thinks SGA should do a better job representing the students and using their power for a good cause.
“I’m all for student government, and I’m all for putting students in charge of the student body because I think it’s important to have a voice that is the same age and in the same mindset as its peers. But if they are using their power for the wrong reasons, and they are just using that position to get a good title on their resume, then it’s not beneficial for any of the students, and then there’s no point,” Sloan said.
Sloan said it is hard to trust SGA after a certain conflict over a bill involving Lambda Chi Alpha last semester.
“I’d feel a lot more comfortable if the student government was clearer on how they were spending their money and where the money is going. I feel like that would give them a better reputation, and it would help them mend themselves back together after what happened,” she said.
Sloan said SGA should address repairing the fountain and fixing other smaller things around campus.
“The fountain was an SGA project, and it’s leaking all the time and it’s either off during the sunniest days or on while it’s raining. When it’s on, it’s leaking. It would be nice to have that repaired. Even something as small as replacing the pool cues in Alvin’s or something like that would be good,” she said.
Christina Carter, music theater sophomore, said she thinks SGA should publicize more about elections.
“I feel like I don’t see a lot about running for positions for SGA. It seems like there’s not a lot of opportunities for other people to run,” she said.
Walker Northcutt, acting sophomore, said he thinks SGA should have a wider diversity of majors.
“It feels like SGA is definitely aimed at people in specific majors, like people in Meinders who are going to be doing stuff like that anyway, which is understandable, but when you’re supposed to be representing the entirety of the student body, and you don’t have representation from school of theatre, school of music, and even the liberal arts schools, those are the schools that need representation,” Northcutt said.
Mayhall said, as an executive board, they discussed the issue of representation in SGA.
“It’s sometimes hard to get representation on SGA because students on campus, particularly in the performance majors, are in rehearsals a lot of the times and are always so busy, so it can sometimes be hard. I think we’ve done a great job of filling a lot of the Senate seats this year. But I definitely think some improvements can be made,” she said.
Mayhall said many of the departments in the different schools have seats in the senate.
Mayhall said SGA has posters around campus advertising open senate seats.
John Metcalf, acting sophomore, said he has been asked to join the senate as a theater representative. He also said he wants to know more about what SGA does for the campus.
Mayhall said SGA wants to do the most it can for the student body.
“The students are who we are serving, and if there’s something we can do better, something they really like, something they don’t like, we can change that,” Mayhall said.