EDITORIAL: SGA, connect with students more
Central Michigan University's Student Government Association serves as the university's student government and student voice. Elected students discuss student issues and make decisions aimed to better student life on campus.
While SGA is meant to represent the wants and ideals of the student body, a lot of CMU students aren't aware of SGA or what its role is on campus. Because of that, the association doesn't have nearly as much support as it could if it more effectively connected with the student body.
Students are unclear about what SGA is and how to get involved.
SGA truly does aim to help students and voice ideas that would benefit them. Recently, they have done good things for students. At the end of the Spring 2018 semester, SGA passed a "Menstrual Hygiene Product Initiative," which was meant to provide free menstrual hygiene products in major buildings across campus.
That is a great, progressive idea that benefits students, just like the new student food pantry SGA helped put together. However, not that many CMU students were aware about the initiative, or that a trial run was being held in four campus bathrooms.
SGA serves as a direct link between the student body and CMU's administration, which includes President Robert Davies.
Although they are the voice of the student of the student body, there seems to be a disconnect. It seems like SGA is a small, exclusive group, that makes a majority of the decisions for students.
SGA hosted a student body dance called the "Golden Gala" on Dec. 1. The event featured a DJ, a photo wall, a caricaturist, and appetizers were served. The event was open to all students, and about 450 attended.
While wanting to throw a fun event for students is a great idea, where did this idea come from? Was it just SGA's idea or was the student body the one advocating for it? Did SGA ever ask students if this is something that they want?
With 2,300 followers on Twitter and 2,223 likes on Facebook, the organization utilizes its social media well. But what about the students who don't follow SGA online? How is SGA getting the word out about initiatives like the Stamp Out Aggression campaign for example?
This is where SGA needs to up their communication with all students — not just the ones involved with the organization.
On Nov. 29, SGA hosted its second annual Student Body Town Hall to invite the students to voice their opinions about SGA, the university and ask a panel of SGA executive board members questions.
About 40 people attended the town hall, and about 100 people watched it on Facebook Live.
While we appreciate the intention of the event, it wasn't the best way to get the average CMU students' attention.
If SGA truly wants to hear voices from the student community, and have more people involved in the organization, its members should try to make more of an effort to reach out to students and appeal to them.
“SGA has the power to make changes, but that can only come from the students,” SGA Vice President Lyndi Rose said at the town hall. “If you’re passionate about this, help us make the change.”
How can students help a group, or be passionate about something it's doing, when they aren't that well informed about it?
SGA, we support you and appreciate the positive things you do for our campus, but effectively communicating with students has always been your weakness. If CMU students see more of what you're doing and start to understand what you do for them, they'll want to participate and support you.
While we cover your meetings on a weekly basis, use Central Michigan Life to spread the word. Encourage your members to write guest columns or letters to the editor that we will publish in our print editions and online.
Email your letters or guest columns to firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with us on social media.
While we are the voice of the students, SGA is too. We should work together to reach out to students, so they have no choice but participate in the process to make this campus a better place.