With less than a week remaining in his term, the Technique sat down with Undergraduate Student Body President Dillon Roseen to get his thoughts on his time in office and his reflections on the year.
While Roseen and the SGA Executive Branch worked on many different projects this year, Roseen felt that three projects were particularly successful. The first of these was the reorganization of the Undergraduate SGA.
“I feel like we really put a lot of effort into revitalizing the culture of SGA, and that actually worked out really well,” said Roseen. “We’ve been working to really increase SGA’s visibility in what we’re doing, and trying to promote that transparency. There’s obviously a lot more we can do there, but I think that revitalizing that internal culture has done a lot to help.”
As part of this reorganization SGA has added several leadership trainings, and membership events, designed to support members of both the Executive and Legislative branches of SGA. They have also incorporated a new mission and vision statement into the constitution and bylaws. This new statement focuses on “enriching the student experience,” another endeavor Roseen felt SGA was particularly successful at this year.
“I was really … proud of the ways in which SGA was able to support the Georgia Tech community. Some specific things I look to are Sexual Violence Student Advisory Board, creating the [Sexual Violence Prevention] video that was shown at the Homecoming game…, really being engaged and trying to get organized student opinion gathering feedback through a really successful campus survey … [and] the candlelight community gathering.”
Roseen felt that SGA’s work on the student experience survey would bring novel insight to help them with this new mission.
“[The survey] has brought a lot of awareness to the things we’re doing well on campus, but also highlighting some of the things we’re not doing so well on. The data there allows us to understand our students better because you can really see how a first year, out-of-state [student’s] experience is different from a first year in-state student, and how can we approach those two populations and better cater our services and our programs to those specific student groups.”
While many of the areas on the survey show improvement from the previous experience survey conducted in 2009, quality of teaching, one of the most important facets of the student experience, actually showed a 4 percent loss of quality.
“I think it is a continuing conversation, especially looking at how the quality of teaching component from that survey and trying to understand why that indicator, which is so important to the undergraduate experience, went down in a significant way.”
Being student body president was not without its challenges, however, and some ventures were unsuccessful. Particularly, he cites the disconnect between the Legislative and Executive Branches as a source of frustration for him during his term.
“Executive Branch really does try to do the right things the right way and really fight for students and doing it in a way that is respectful not only to students, but also to administrators. Whereas [in] the Legislative Branch, there could be room for improvement in not only bettering that relationship with the student body, but [also] bettering the leadership, internally changing how our representatives and how our leaders really advocate for students,” said Roseen. “Our mission, at its core, is to enrich the student experience, and if students walk away having a poor interaction with SGA, are we really achieving that mission? I don’t think we are.”
Finally, when asked if he had any advice for incoming president Jennifer Abrams, Roseen urged Abrams to stick to her key goals, regardless of outside pressures.
“She will be presented with many competing priorities, [and] many competing interests that many people want her to get done… So my advice to her is make your year what you want it to be, and make sure what you came into this role believing and wanting to work on, that at the end of the year that you’ve done everything you can to make sure that happened… Focus on what you want to focus on, and go for it. At the end of the year, if you have, you’ll feel so satisfied.”