SGA Provides Plans for the New School Year

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Volunteer Writer: Connor Sullivan


On September 13th, the Student Government Association hosted their “SGA Town Hall” in the Claire T. Carney Library’s Grand Reading Room. The event served as the association’s “start of the year,” where each member shared what they intended to accomplish.

Despite the suffocating heat filling the library, President Marshall MacDonald and Vice President Gent Haviari showed up in full suits and ties, along with executive board members Treasurer Nicole Kach and Recording Secretary Jackie O’Hare. Corresponding Secretary Doreen Darko intended to make an appearance as well but was unable to attend.

The common desire in all their goals was increasing the transparency of the SGA’s finances, decisions, and actions for the student body. By ensuring that students know what the SGA is doing and why, they hope to increase awareness of how students can engage with campus affairs and campaign for changes they want to see.

For MacDonald, one step to achieving this is to increase the SGA’s advocacy for students so they know that “they have representation” and that the SGA is acting on the “pulse of the university.”

Increasing transparency in decisions and actions was also a key part of the goals of Vice President Haviari and Recording Secretary O’Hare.

Haivair intends to find ways for student voices to weigh in on decisions. Part of this includes continuing to write resolutions, which he describes as statements put out by SGA for what issues they have and what they want to see changed.

Another part of this push was creating a new policy requiring each senator and executive board member to have at least one office hour. He says this is to ensure that students have “clear access to whoever their senator is.”

He also plans to make sure that the SGA’s committees all have enough members to properly carry out their responsibilities, along with using the committee council, a committee made up of all the committee chairs, as a forum where they can discuss collaboration.

Additionally, he discussed his desire to make sure that both the administration and the SGA consistently communicate and follow the rules they and students are expected to abide by.

O’Hare’s means of increasing transparency in these areas were summarized in three points: Duty, Communication, and Diversity.

For duty, she intends to check in on senators and make sure they’re performing their duties. 

For communication, she aims to maintain consistent and rapid communication with the student body. 

For diversity, she wants all students to feel included and for a variety of viewpoints and experiences to be heard. 

This form of transparency was echoed by Corresponding Secretary Darko. Darko didn’t attend despite being scheduled to make an appearance; however, she left notes on her goals for the year.

Her first is to host more events that connect students to administration.

Second, she wants to hold administrators accountable for “Things they promise to do but don’t,” assuring us that she is “willing to call them out.”

Finally, she wants to ensure that student voices are heard by the administration through any means necessary, including texting, emailing, and going to them directly.

Treasurer Nicole Kach’s top priority was ensuring transparent finances for all organizations.

She claims that past finances hadn’t “been the best communicated” due to each previous treasurer handling their roles in different ways. This left organizations unable to predict how finances would be handled.

She plans to break that stigma and have everyone know how the finances in SGA work by strictly following the rules in their By-Laws and Constitution.

Additionally, she wants to prioritize financial education for all student organization treasurers. This had apparently been a “huge problem on campus,” with novice treasurers not knowing how to allocate their budget properly. She hopes a proper education will alleviate this and help organizations run smoothly. 

 She also used this as a chance to provide an update on the funding for student organizations. 

Currently, organizations have not received funding as the SGA goes through a process called a “Combined Budget Resolution.” This involves the university allocating the SGA a sum of money, with the senate then voting on how it’s allocated.

As of May, SGA has received a confirmed sum that they will receive, which will be voted on by September 18th. She promises that organizations will receive their funds as soon as the Senate votes on the resolution.

Along with this funding from the university, she wants to push for greater fundraising efforts from organizations themselves by evaluating current efforts to see what needs to be changed.

Towards the end of the event, MacDonald took the stage again to cover some of the SGA events currently planned for the semester. These included some focused on campus politics, such as Shake the Ship, where students will get to question administration directly, and some focused on entertainment, such as a series of drive-in movies slated for just before Thanksgiving break.

MacDonald also shared plans to hold another conference called the “State of the Campus” address in April. The purpose of this conference will be to wrap up the year and go over what was achieved from these goals.

It should be interesting to see where these promises end up by April. Until then, the SGA seems optimistic about the trajectory for the coming semesters.


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