SGA Year in Review

A picture of the SGA logo and Tech Tower. // Photo courtesy of

As the elections for the next Student Government Association (SGA) president and executive vice president approach, we at the Technique wanted to take a moment to reflect on the work done under Rohan Sohani and Grace Swift’s term as undergraduate president and executive vice president, respectively. They were the endorsed candidates of the Technique last year, and we commend them on the work they were able to accomplish.

First, we would like to commend them for their positive contribution to students’ general well-being. For example, we feel that two initiatives championed by Julia Johnson, the Vice President of Well-being, have had a tangibly positive impact on students. The first of these is the Menstrual Product Program, which has existed in previous years but was able to secure the resources to confirm institutionalization under their term. 

The second initiative was the Interfraternity Council (IFC) Overdose Prevention Program which saw the distribution of Narcan, fentanyl test strips and harm reduction resources to organizations within the IFC — an area that SGA cited  as having the most overdoses on campus.

Other initiatives we wanted to spotlight were their continuation of encouraging student athletes to be well-rounded, highlighting Black Student Organizations on their social media, recognizing and addressing student complaints with sustainability and encouraging recycling on campus. Furthermore, we truly appreciate the steps SGA has taken to ensure more equity within the Institute.

For example, SGA provided students with free tickets to Hawks Night, an event that has traditionally required students to purchase tickets if they attended and participated in a community service event hosted by SGA. In addition, they put into place initiatives such as crisis funding and emergency housing to help students receive more immediate help in times of crisis by providing them with up to $500 in emergency funds or a place to stay. Actions such as these work to ensure all students at Tech are provided with the resources they need to succeed and ensure they are not barred from events due to financial difficulties. 

We further recognize that all these initiatives are especially impressive considering the very limited power SGA operates within. SGA’s power primarily relies on its ability to advocate for students to the people, such as the administration, that students do not easily have access to. For example, issues such as the increasing enrollment without an increase in housing have been very real problems for many students this year; however, many students do not have the capabilities to express this to people in administration. This is where SGA shines; their ability to forge connections and build a network is what has allowed SGA to withstand the test of time. 

However, with this in mind, we feel that SGA has neglected to foster its most important relationship: with the student body. Even though SGA has worked to make itself a more transparent organization with communications such as its monthly newsletter, the student body still feels a tangible level of separation from the organization.

Nothing emphasizes this more than the current ballot for SGA president and executive vice president, which only features one candidate pair running unopposed. This reflects both a disconnect with the student body and a lack of effective recruitment on SGA’s part — barring new and more diverse students and opinions from entering the organization.

To remedy the first issue, we encourage SGA to utilize more outcome-based and quantitative measures of success to communicate the work they’ve done. While we recognize that a lot of their work is long term in nature and therefore difficult to quantify, we feel that providing students with concrete updates as the process unfolds will allow students to understand how the seemingly small actions of SGA construct a far bigger picture. 

In regards to the lack of recruitment, we feel that this is a continued impact of an issue we have discussed extensively regarding SGA in the past: its internal issues. 

While sectors of SGA, such as Information Technology, have seen massive restructuring that has been immensely beneficial, other areas of SGA remain untouched.  All in all, we appreciate all that SGA has done to improve student life on campus, whether it was addressing student concerns or highlighting other organizations on campus. With that in mind, we hope to see more transparency between the organization and students and more change within the structuring of SGA.

With the elections for the upcoming term approaching, we hope to see the candidates address the issues we have mentioned while continuing the initiatives we feel have had a positive impact on the student body as a whole.  Much of SGA’s success is predicated on continuity in what works and change in what doesn’t, and we hope to see that.