MOORHEAD – The Student Government Association, SGA, had its first Senate meeting Thursday, Sept. 7, where members came together to discuss goals for the year and how SGA can connect more with students.
The meeting was kicked off with group introductions, led by Vice President Anna Kronbeck, as well as an overview of new procedures implemented to streamline communication between members and utilize Concordia’s new Cobber Connect website.
Much of the meeting was devoted to discussing the three overarching goals of SGA this year, which are community, support and safety.
The three goals were created by SGA President Jesus Gonzalez and Kronbeck, and were based on conversations and feedback gathered from students last year and going into the 2023-2024 school year.
The first goal, community, is focused on SGA showing up and engaging with the Concordia community, connecting with students on campus and their image.
The aim for the first goal is to make SGA a more present and visible organization on campus. That way, members of SGA will be viewed as approachable and a source of communication between the student body and the policies and actions which influence their life on campus, not as a separate decision-making entity.
“Image is important. We’ve been re-envisioning the purpose and image of SGA,” said Gonzalez.
The second goal of SGA is support, which has been broken down into two main issues currently facing Concordia students, food security and accessibility.
Food insecurity has become a rising issue at Concordia, with many students expressing their surprise over changes to the school’s flex swipe policy, as well as accessing meals that accommodate different dietary restrictions. With students balancing classes, extracurriculars, homework and jobs, issues with food security can become an unnecessary stressor, something SGA hopes to tackle as a goal for the upcoming year.
“We should be able to eat, sleep, go to classes, and engage in this campus in a healthy way,” said Gonzalez.
The third goal is safety and is centered around policy and hours. Concerns have been raised in the past about inadequate lighting on campus after dark, and with many students staying late into the night to work on assignments, SGA is looking to see if this is an issue they can help with. Students have also expressed a desire to have the skyway open later into the night to offer another safe option for walking across campus.
Pepper spray is allowed on campus as an option for students who want personal protection, however, the aim is to create a safe environment at Concordia where students can have peace of mind while on campus.
The three goals are flexible and subject to change by SGA as any potential ideas or concerns are brought to their attention.
Gonzalez also gave a call to action to members at the meeting and said these goals cannot be accomplished alone but need the joint efforts of everyone in SGA in order to achieve them.
The 2023-24 SGA vision statement was presented at the meeting, and it read “By the end of the year we aspire for members of our community to confidently name a tangible, positive impact created by the student government association, showcasing our commitment to meaningful service and accountability,”
The presentation was followed by a small group discussion amongst SGA members where they brainstormed ways in which to help accomplish the goals as well as present ideas for what should be discussed at later meetings. SGA’s next senate meeting will be September 21 at 7:30 p.m.