With the 2012-13 school year closing, we are already gearing up for a new school year with the beginning of the 2013-14 elections for student body representatives, senators and executive roles. As we move into the elections season, students should first identify what the purpose of SGA is and which ticket best fulfills that purpose.
Many Tech students believe that SGA is useless and self-serving. However, SGA’s main functions are to allocate the Student Activity Fee to student initiatives, enhancing life outside the classroom, and to advocate for student interests in the education costs, academic life and more to faculty, administrators and the state. In the absence of SGA, none of this would happen, and students would be left with no advocacy and no progress.
Still, the students’ perception of SGA drives the organization’s ability to be effective, and this negative sentiment has surely limited SGA’s capacity and restricted collaboration between organizations.
The members of SGA do hard work to allocate money year-round. However, some SGA projects, such as planning trips to the Woodruff Arts Center, are meaningful, but best housed under organizations dedicated to programming or celebrating the arts. By outsourcing such initiatives, SGA can then focus purely on efficiently financially supporting initiatives.
SGA also does hard work to advocate for students’ interests, but it should focus on a two-way street of communication with the student body, which is a feat that admittedly no organization has been able to do effectively. Unfortunately, events like SGA Day only seem to attract the demographic that already works with SGA, leaving hundreds of students unengaged. But effective communication, whatever that looks like, would allow SGA and the student body to truly engage and work toward one common vision.