OPINION: How SGA works for the student body
Central Michigan University’s Student Government Association is an incredible resource that allows students to make meaningful changes on campus. Between legislation, projects and student representation on different university committees, SGA’s work and impact stretches far beyond Monday night meetings.
SGA is divided into the House and Senate. The House is comprised of 121 students who each represent a different registered student organization on campus. The Senate currently has 11 senators. Each senator represents a different academic college on campus. All year long, SGA house representatives and senators are working on legislation and projects to improve our campus.
Started last year, the Menstrual Hygiene Product Initiative has advocated for the university to provide tampons and pads in restrooms on campus. Menstrual hygiene products are a necessary and crucial medical resource that SGA believes should be provided to students for students who need them. These menstrual hygiene products are now available in four restrooms on campus for students’ use.
Other SGA events, like the Golden Gala and Annual Local Candidates Forum, offer more opportunities for student engagement.
In 2018, the Golden Gala had 500 students attend and was one of the association’s biggest successes in terms of student involvement. The event is a student body ball that is free to all CMU students. It provides students with the opportunity to dress up, dance and have fun with their friends and classmates. This year, the Golden Gala will be Dec. 7 from 7-9:30 p.m. in the UC Rotunda.
The Annual Local Candidates Forum brings Mt. Pleasant City Commission candidates on campus so students can ask questions about local issues that impact the university and students. This event allows students to make informed decisions about elections that will impact where they call home for a greater portion of the year.
Other services like the Student Budget Allocation Committee and the SGA Legal Clinic are important resources SGA provides for students. The Student Budget Allocation Committee is a subcommittee of SGA which provides financial funding for RSOs to host programs on campus and to attend conferences. The SGA Legal Clinic provides CMU students with the opportunity to meet with a licensed attorney and receive limited legal advice for a period of 30 minutes. To request an appointment with the Legal Clinic, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perhaps one of the more unknown impacts of SGA is the appointments it makes to various committees within the university. These committees allow students to have a voice in areas of campus that make critical decisions and directly impact students.
The Student Government Association appoints six students to sit on the Academic Senate. The Academic Senate is the decision-making body responsible for policymaking in academic life at CMU. The senate is the final academic curricular authority for all graduate and undergraduate programs. The six student voices appointed to this committee serve as important advocates for students’ needs in academics.
One student is appointed by SGA to the Budget Priorities Committee. This student is responsible for understanding CMU’s budget and advocating for budget changes on behalf of the student body.
Ten students have been appointed to sit on Student Conduct Hearing Panels. These students oversee hearings that determine if a student acted in violation of the Code of Student Conduct and the sanction according to the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures.
The Police Oversight Committee has two students appointed to it. This committee reviews grievances against the CMU police department or CMU police officers and makes recommendations to the CMU police chief. The students on this committee ensure our campus police are making doing their job accurately and making campus safer. If you have a grievance to file against campus police, you may find the form online at https://apps.cmich.edu/policeoversight.
Each of these committees makes critical decisions about our campus and influence. The appointments made by SGA to the committees give students a place at the table and make administrators hear the student body.
All of the projects, legislation and appointments that come from the Student Government Association aim to advocate for the student body and improve the university overall.
SGA meetings are always open to the public and take place Mondays at 7 p.m. in the Bovee UC Auditorium on the third floor. To find out more about SGA, go to https://www.cmich.edu/ess/sai/StudentGovernmentAssociation/Pages/default.aspx.
For questions about any of the information above or SGA, please contact SGA Press Secretary Katie Prebelich at email@example.com.