SGA leaders seek strong connections with new administration and student body


Student Government Association President Jake Hendricks speaks at the first SGA meeting of the 2018-19 school year in the UC auditorium on September 10, 2018.  Vice President Lyndi Rose stands at the podium beside him.

It's transition time for leaders at Central Michigan University. 

While CMU President Robert Davies and Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer A.T. Miller step into their respective positions, so are Student Government Association leaders.

SGA President Jake Hendricks and Vice President Lyndi Rose said they look forward to building a bridge between the student body and new university administration. 

"We want to be sure to build a good relationship with (Davies) during this first year, so student government moving forward have a feel for how he likes to run things," Hendricks said.

The two will lead SGA for the 2018-19 academic year with hopes of reaching out to the student body and promoting civic engagement. Hendricks, a junior from Traverse City, and Rose, a junior from Nashville, have been actively involved in SGA since their freshman year. 

The pair worked together previously as SGA representatives of the College of Business Administration. They liked each others' project ideas and initiatives, so they decided to run for the presidential ticket.

"We're a good team," Hendricks said. "We play off each others' strengths. (Rose) comes up with a lot of cool ideas, and I help to carry out those projects."

Some big projects in the works for SGA include the Menstrual Hygiene Product Initiative, which Rose is laying the foundation for this year, as well as a new United Student Government Conference. 

Tentatively scheduled for November, SGA will invite student government representatives from 13 peer institutions to CMU to discuss hot topics for students today. Hendricks hopes to talk about things like civic engagement and the affordability of higher education.

"We want to make sure students are on the same page about those topics, and also show some CMU hospitality," Hendricks said.

As a student leader, Hendricks urges students to be civically engaged. SGA recently signed the "Campus Voter Project Resolution," which was passed by the Academic Senate on Sept. 11. The resolution allows students to go home on election day to vote without being penalized. 

SGA will also host the annual Candidates Forum next month, inviting city commission candidates to share their platforms and give students the opportunity to share their visions for the community.

Along with civic engagement, Hendricks and Rose hope to see more SGA involvement from the student body. In an effort to engage with more Registered Student Organizations on campus, representatives will go to RSO meetings throughout the year to promote SGA participation. 

"We want to communicate (to RSOs) that it's more than just getting student budget allocation committee funding (from SGA)," Hendricks said. "The more students that join SGA, the more opinions we can share and the more powerful the student voice becomes."

Weekly SGA meetings will take place at 7 p.m., Mondays in the Bovee University Center Auditorium. 

"We hope to represent the student body accurately," Rose said. "We hope to build that bridge between SGA and the student body."