New SGA staff settles into new roles

Photo by Melisa Barish. Student Government Association President Meg Hendrickson and Vice PResident Colin Sullivan pose for a photo in their office. The SGA administration started their new roles on April 4.

Student Government Association President Meg Henrickson and the rest of her staff were officially installed into office on April 4.

Since the installment ceremony, Henrickson and the new Vice President Colin Sullivan have been working to get to know students and staff across campus.

Sullivan explained that they are “continuing to foster these connections” with students and staff. In addition, SGA wants to make itself more accessible to the student body.

SGA staff have also been working on a number of smaller projects including laying out their budget and preparing for speeches and events such as President William Craft’s inauguration and next year’s orientation.

In addition to the work being done before the end of the school year, a large portion of SGA’s members will be participating in the May leadership internship. This is a two-week program that brings together representatives from some of the major campus organizations to work on leadership skills.

“I think May will be a good time to come together as a group,” Henrickson said.

Some of the other groups that will be represented at the May internship are the Campus Entertainment Commission, the Campus Ministry Commission, the Student Environmental Alliance, the Campus Service Commission, Habitat for Humanity and Intercultural Affairs.

“It’s a good time for us to connect with other groups,” Henrickson said, and she explained that SGA could learn what other groups want and need from them for next year.

In addition to the work SGA will be doing in May, Sullivan stated that they would “make sure we get as much done over the summer as possible.”

“April’s kind of a weird month,” Henrickson said.

Kate Engstrom, SGA’s facilities and services commissioner, said the limited time before the year’s end makes productivity difficult.

“When there’s only three or four weeks left it’s hard to get any projects started,” Engstrom said.

The months of April and May will be spent as a transition period, especially for new members of SGA, and staff will convene for their first meetings during this time. Next year, they will begin their large initiatives.

Some of these initiatives include those outlined in the duo’s campaign platform. The first of these was recognizing student success, whether that is in the form of student leadership or the activities performed by student organizations. SGA hopes to establish an award for this category that will be continued on in future years.

The next of their main initiatives is to advance student-led sustainability. To do this, SGA will be working with the Student Environmental Alliance, the sustainability coordinator and the newly created sustainability taskforce. They also hope to showcase the new ecohouse and the students who live there by sharing the students’ experiences with the campus.

Another initiative is to improve the visibility surrounding the core requirements. SGA wants students to be able to know why certain courses count and others don’t.

Their purpose for this is to make it easier for students to access this information and to increase conversation about this subject.

Finally, SGA wants to increase the amount of time that vital facilities on campus, such as the skyway and the campus center, are open. They have already begun work on this initiative by talking to staff about the feasibility of opening up these facilities for longer hours.

In addition to the goals expressed in Henrickson and Sullivan’s campaign platform, they say they will probably take up some of the initiatives that other campaign pairs wanted to focus on. One reason for this widened focus is that many SGA presidential candidates are now on staff, including Cole Kantos, Chris Banken and Kate Engstrom.

“At first, after something like that, there’s always a little bit of awkwardness,” Engstrom said.

However, she said that the new SGA team will be able to work together effectively.

“We’ve kind of put the election in the past,” Engstrom said.

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