October 6, 2015
By Gabbi Fusco
“You have a voice, use it.” This is the message William Schuneman, president of the Student Government Association, wants the student body to hear. Schuneman was recently inaugurated along with several other new members on Monday, Sept. 28th.
“SGA is an undergraduate student organization that is responsible for representing the student voice on campus; working as a liaison to administrators and offices related to policy,” said Norah Collins, associate dean of students, and SGA Faculty Advisor.
There are three different kinds of memberships within the group: student senators, club representatives, and executive board members. Student senator representatives are responsible for voicing and addressing the concerns specific to their class. Club representatives act as delegates for their five individual clubs (OLA, CSA, RSA, CAB, SGA). And finally the executive positions, secretary, treasurer, vice president, and president are responsible for the overall running of SGA and all direct communication with administration.
Members are chosen by “election or appointment by the senate” according to Collins. Elections for executives and sophomore, junior, and senior senate reps are held in the spring. Freshman elections are held in the fall. If any positions become available in the middle of the year they are filled by appointment from current senators.
Information collected, by the senators, from the student body is shared with Schuneman. His intern brings the information to the administration’s attention in regular meetings with Dean of Student’s Office. Schuneman also wants to start meeting regularly with separate offices to get the students voices factored into their decisions as well. When asked what policies he wanted to implement as president, Schuneman responded with “It’s not what I want to implement, it’s what the student body wants.”
SGA has been experiencing a serious communication gap with the student body.
“A common problem is that many times the students simply do not communicate their concerns to SGA,” said Melissa Chavez, SGA secretary. “Nothing can be done if students don’t inform us of the issues they see occurring on campus.”
If students would like to voice a concern they are recommended to bring it up with their student senator or contact SGA through their Engage DU page. Students are also welcome to attend bi-weekly SGA meetings.
The main purpose of Schuneman’s election platform focused on improving communication. “In previous years, I believe the student body hasn’t had their voice heard through the upper echelons of the university, and I want to bring it back” he said.
When asked if he believes the administration will take the students requests seriously Schuneman responded, “Administration wants to hear what we have to say.” He brought up the change in dining service providers and mentioned parking as the new “hot button” topic.
As a final remark Schunemann added “I guess what I want people to realize is that it’s not going to happen overnight but given time, we will do our job; students just have to trust us to do our job.”
SGA meets every other Monday at 5 p.m. in the Cusack Board Room.