This year, the Student Government Association (SGA) is planning to start the new academic year with making changes, starting from conducting elections to reforming policies. With the recent SGA residence hall senate and freshman class elections concluding, the new SGA has its goals set on reinvigorating student body input, improving communication with students, and exploring student issues.
Similar to its previous years, the SGA continued its use with Survey Monkey in order to conduct elections. While the SGA explored other election administering options such as Course Evaluations, they ultimately decided to use the Survey Monkey system once again due to time and financial constraints. However, this year, the Survey Monkey system has been upgraded to ensure more secure elections, while remaining easy to access, familiar, and user-friendly.
In order to ensure no voter fraud, each student has received an individual link to access Survey Monkey and vote for their preferred candidate. First-year students were the only group of people receiving two links, one for residence hall senators and the other for class election representatives.
One of the main issues concerning the SGA this year is a lack of student body participation in student government activities. In order to combat this issue, the SGA is hoping to connect better with the students through the use of social media platforms. According to SGA president Andrew Reighart, “We’ve been working on our Facebook page as well as created a Twitter page and group on the Portal so that it will be easier for students to get in touch with the SGA.”
Furthermore, with the SGA’s plan to amend the constitution, student body input is increasingly imperative. One-third of the student body must approve in order to amend the constitution, therefore students will have access to view the constitution on the portal, the St. Mary’s website, as well as on Facebook.
“People don’t like to get involved with student government politics because they don’t feel like wrapping their head around it,” said SGA parliamentarian Thomas Kenny. “So the idea is to communicate with students through mediums such as The Point News, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It’s the best way to catch their eyes and get them interested in getting involved.”