SGA: Behind the scenes

Photo by Kirsten Reynolds

Tech’s Student Government Association (SGA) plays a key part in the campus community. From daily tasks, like answering student questions and passing bills, to planning key events, such as GT Day at the Zoo and SGA week, the student government has a multitude of responsibilities.

Each task is done according to SGA’s mission statement “to empower student organizations, embody student opinions, preserve student integrity and enrich the student experience.”

The results of the hard work of last semester is evident in the progress made toward achieving the mission. SGA Student Body President and fourth-year IE Sujay Peramanu feels that the efforts of the SGA, in conjunction with the student body, can be most readily seen in the positive changes to the student experience, a trend he hopes to see continue.

“This year, we have focused on enriching the student experience, which is one of the core parts of our mission,” Peramanu said. “Specifically, we have focused on mental health, academics and student services. We will continue to do our part in making sure every student has what they need to be successful here at Georgia Tech.”

This enrichment was facilitated by events and initiatives such as the Brown Bag Series, Minimester Benchmarking, Career Fair Benchmarking, the Mental Health Allocation Committee and Ramblin’ Reps. Through these initiatives, SGA works to promote solutions to issues, provide resources to students and motivate the student body to become more engaged in the campus community.

Coordinating all of this can be a quite daunting task that requires constant communication within SGA. It also requires, however, constant communication with the students SGA serves. Communication with students is something Peramanu sees as an area in which SGA can improve, thereby bettering its ability to work with the student body toward a common goal.

“We hope to improve communication for the student body through newsletters and open forum,” Peramanu said of SGA’s plans for better communication.

This is just one of the many things SGA hopes to make better for this semester. By restructuring internally, SGA hopes to improve their efficiency and effectiveness so as to better serve the student body. Peramanu perceives this change as a way to better spread the workload.

“SGA is currently going through restructuring to further empower our elected representatives to do work for Georgia Tech,” Peramanu said. “Currently, most of the legwork for projects is done through the Executive Branch, and we want to change this to a more Legislative Branch.”

While change is sometimes seen as foreboding, it is nothing but a good sign in the case of SGA. By keeping on top of current and future projects, Peramanu expects the semester to be an ecstatic success for both SGA and the student body.

“The outlook for 2018 is bright,” Peramanu said. “We have multiple projects on the horizon that are nearly done, and we are excited to share our results with the rest of the student body.”

It is with excitement that SGA is working toward the completion of several key projects for this semester. These projects include ridesharing service discounts, more hammocks, the creation of a committee on sexual violence, GT Health Day, Thank a Teacher Day, I <3 GT Week and an inclusive leadership conference. These initiatives will help SGA achieve its mission while simultaneously engaging the student body
this semester.

Through the purposeful internal changes being made after reviewing last semester and the projects on the horizon, SGA is  able to impact campus in a meaningful way.

“SGA impacts every corner of campus through our committees, our legislative body and justices,” Peramanu said of SGA’s impact. “A great place to check out all of SGA’s accomplishments this past semester is our Fall Report that you can access on our
Facebook page.”

The coordination of this impact with the goals set forth in the mission statement have empowered SGA to create a campus consistent with its vision “to help make Georgia Tech the best place in the world to receive an education: a place where students boldly pursue their academic and life goals, a place where there is widespread student access to on-campus resources and support, and a place where there is collaboration between students, faculty and administrators.”

None of this would be possible, however, without the input and effort of students. Even if they are not an elected official, students can become involved by attending office hours, the Undergraduate House of Representatives meetings or Open Forum.

By taking part in Tech’s political process, both students and SGA will be able to more fully realize the mission and vision to which they strive.