SGA: what can the student government do for you?

By SGA Correspondent Tim Howard This week, The Torch thought it best to discuss something which would be just as pertinent to inform the campus community about.And that is to describe exactly what the SGA is and what it’s roles are. The point is to give you (the reader) a basic impression of the SGA’s roles and responsibilities here on campus.  I implore to investigate further if your interested in clarification or more information. Have you ever wondered what the SGA is? What it does? Well today those questions will be answered. The SGA stands for the Student Government Association. This legislative body of students works as a way for the student population to have their voices heard. The SGA works closely with many UMassD staff and therefore does hold a tangible level of power in controlling the path this campus goes down. Furthermore, the SGA is the fastest route for students to bring light to qualms and concerns they have about the campus and the UMassD community at large. If you have something about campus you’d like to see corrected… the SGA can help. If you want to start a club… SGA. etc. The Student Government Association also helps bridge the gap between the policies enacted by the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor and the student body. SGA senators are immensely useful in trying to rectify issues that the UMassD staff at large may not even know is an issue. So who are these Senators? It’s members are elected to their positions via internal elections (i.e. the veteran members chose new members). These elected students hold a variety of roles, but we’ll get back to that later. Each student, or senator in SGA terminology, is now in representing a certain constituency on the UMassD campus. For example, if elected to represent displaced Mount Ida students, one’s constituency would only be the Mount Ida students on campus. (Shameless plug, see my article from a few weeks ago in which I Interview a Mount Ida senator). Therefore your role would be to ensure that those students’ voices are being heard on matters which they care about. You are their representative and therefore must converse with them and understand what kind of change they would like you to push for within the SGA. The aforementioned roles are the vanilla for SGA Senators. The fun stuff comes when they get to hear proposals for new clubs, or changes the school intends to make. If it it within their power, they will vote to approve or deny anything that is student organized/funded. Obviously the SGA cannot do this for things such as the new residencies, but nevertheless their opinion on the matter can help incite change on the issue. Lastly, the Student Government Association gives students a taste of the ordeal that goes into real life legislative enactment. It takes time. It’s slow. It’s tedious. But that’s what government is all about. Society does not function properly if the whims of one person were always adhered to. The Student Government Association gives all students a way to see what it takes to get things done. So if you have some kind of club you want to start up, or some injustice you wish to see remedied, you now know where to go.  

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