Concordia’s Student Government Association (SGA) was tabling in the atrium Monday, October 14 through Wednesday, October 16 as an opportunity for students to get to know their SGA senators. “Speed Date Your Senator” is a program that will continue throughout the school year. Students will have the opportunity to ask their senators questions and give feedback for SGA.
“This program was created for students to be able to have more open and honest conversations with their SGA senators,” said Sara Villalobos, SGA President.
Villalobos wanted to create transparency for SGA and she wanted to let students know that their senators are available for communication. She said she wants the senators “to be a voice for the student body, but also to listen to the people they’re representing.”
Brayden Sorenson, Co-Directors of Communication for SGA, discussed how “Speed Date Your Senator” can create a stronger connection with students, mentioning the importance of these opportunities for in-person conversations.
“ Face to face interaction is so much more meaningful than other types of interactions,” he said.
Sorenson and Vic Halvorson, SGA Chief of Staff, also discussed what it has been like to be involved in the implementation of this program. They both talked about what it was like to get a chance to connect with students through their SGA positions, but in a less traditional setting than the SGA office or Student Senate.
“I really enjoyed [tabling],” Sorenson said. “A lot of students don’t know very much about SGA, so being available in a more open space to talk to students about it is really powerful.”
“It was really cool to connect with other students in this official capacity and having this opportunity!” Halvorson said of the program.
Speed Date Your Senator is still in its beginning phase, but Villalobos wants to make sure the program continues on throughout the school year.
“I want to make sure students see us out in the open and know that they can talk to us.” she said.
During the most recent student senate, the senators talked about some of the students’ reactions that they have seen while tabling. Halvorson discussed how students seemed apprehensive at the start of this program, but she is excited to see where the program goes.
Sorenson saw a similar reaction, but also saw other reactions too. “Students are mostly wondering and wanting to gain more information about SGA. They had issues they wanted SGA to address,” he said.
Villalobo emphasized that the SGA senators want to hear what students have to say and they want to use the information they receive during these tabling sessions to help make changes in SGA and on-campus.
“[Students should] feel free to come up to us. We’re not afraid to receive criticism so that we are able to implement change,” Villalobo said.
Halvorson and Sorenson discussed how this program gives students and senators an opportunity to get to know each other and hear each other’s ideas.
“Students should know that their senators are really excited to get to know everyone and that students should not be scared to come up and learn more about SGA,” Halvorson said.
“This program is a good opportunity for students to interact with people they elected and appointed. We’re looking for feedback and it’s a good opportunity for students to voice their opinions,” Sorenson added.
Speed Date Your Senator will continue throughout the school year. SGA meets every other Thursday at 7:30 PM in ISC 260. They also send out a newsletter, “The Shuck,” every Sunday through campus email. For more information about SGA, visit their website https://concordiasga.wixsite.com/cordsga.