By Jesse Sannicandro
Why is SGA important?
One thing I love about it is it gives a place for students to become involved. So, when people join SGA, I think their involvement with the school’s clubs and organizations increases how happy they are. I feel like a lot of people who don’t have a good college experience – you kind of ask like, “Well, what did you do in college?” and they weren’t really part of clubs or organizations and they didn’t really get involved, they just kind of went to class and that’s it. I feel like if you make friends, you get out there, you socialize, you meet everyone, you’re so much happier with how you’ve spent your college career. And I feel like SGA provides that and it kind of strengthens the other clubs and organizations on campus, too.
What lessons have you learned from previous leaders in student government?
People feel really underappreciated when they don’t think their voice is being heard. So, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to acknowledge that person as being right, but it’s important that everyone in the room gets a say in what’s going on, and then you take everyone’s ideas and put them together, and that’s how you come up with a good conclusion.
What do you hope to accomplish as the new SGA president?
I want to make student life easier basically. ... I’ve noticed with my experience here, a lot of the time I go to an office or I talk to someone, and they send me to someone else who sends me to someone else who sends me to, finally, the person that I’m actually looking for. And I think that that’s just because the student body doesn’t have the resources to find out where they need to go to solve a certain problem. I want to make it more accessible for them to get the resources they need, and then go straight to the source and Mx it. And I want that for clubs, too – I want more clarity – open communication. I want everything to be transparent. I want my senate to be well-trained. I want senate to have thorough knowledge on all of the RAM handbook, specifically our constitution, and our guidelines and Robert’s Rules, which is what we follow in our senate meetings.
How would you hope students could get more involved on campus?
Ideally, I would love every student to be involved with at least one club. I think that would be great, because we have 53 clubs, so I feel like there’s at least one club that has some sort of interest for everybody. ... We have crafting club, fashion club, we have clubs that just are kind of fun hobbies. ... Just something you can kind of casually do, too. So, I feel like it would be great if everyone could join a club. ... It’s hard to connect someone to the club they want. I guess it’s more about promoting the clubs. I remember when I was a freshman, I had no idea half the clubs even existed. ... Maybe just getting the student body aware that CollegiateLink is a resource they can use, and then just helping clubs promote themselves and reach their target audience.
How are you going to use social media to promote SGA?
Right now, our Facebook page has 1000 followers, our Twitter has 250 and our Instagram has 150. We’re reaching the biggest audience on Facebook, but I’ve noticed a lot of people on there are graduated. ... It’s becoming harder because I don’t think, I don’t know why people don’t want to follow the pages. I don’t know if they just don’t want to clutter up their timelines, or like, they just don’t care at all or what their deal is. Because this year we tried to change it as in the social media is promoting all the clubs, not just SGA. So, if you look at our posts, it will be like, “This club’s hosting this event at this time in this location.” So I think that was a good way to promote both SGA and whatever club the post would be about. So I feel like it would kind of target everyone. ... We did have a lot of growth this year in followers, but I would like to see it more. And then, I suppose a weekly post like, “Open forum is happening at 7 p.m. today, don’t forget!” just like a constant reminder so people are kind of like, “Oh
yeah, it’s Tuesday, I want to go address this need.” But what I would love to do, and I feel like this would probably be on CollegiateLink, would have basically an open forum submission. So you could just go on and it would be a little form it would be your name or your email and what you would like to address on this campus, or what your issue is or what you want to tell SGA. Some people only come to classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – they’re not even here on Tuesday. They’re not going to just come here at 7:00 at night just to say that one thing and then leave. This would be giving them access to us 24/7. We’re going to have to work with IT to figure out how that would work exactly, but that’s what I’d love to get going.
What does SGA mean to you?
I think it’s important not to forget that we’re there not just for the clubs – it’s very important to
represent the clubs and do everything to help the clubs, but we also are there to help all the 4,000 students that go here. Right now, we’re doing the stress relief bags for all the students for finals, so we walk around the library and hand those out to students who are studying, which I think is great, but I’d like to do more stuff like that. I’m going to have to brainstorm with my senate and my e-Board – so, a lot of outreach.