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EDITORIAL: Newly elected, returning SGA members must be eyes, ears and voice of student body as CMU rectifies projected $20 million deficit


Dear newly elected Student Government Association members:

Congratulations on being voted in as Central Michigan University’s student-body leaders. We commend you for wanting to make a difference at this university. 

The university is grappling with a projected $20 million budget deficit, so CMU's students need someone advocating on their behalf now more than ever. 

Changes are going to be made in the near future that will affect students' experiences. This means cuts to programs, project delays and employee layoffs. 

In these uncertain times, we challenge you to be the liaison between the administration and students. Make sure university leaders are considering effects on students while addressing the budget deficit. Keep challenging our administrators to be transparent. Organize students to collectively hold them accountable.

This won’t be easy. It will require more than going to a meeting once a week. 

Whether you're returning or newly-elected to SGA, use your platform to make the organization more of a necessity to students by working to reach as many of them as possible. 

Make a point to gauge the pulse of the student body. Canvas students. Find out what is important to the people you are serving. Closely connecting with the needs of the student body is the most important way to stay relevant.

Historically, SGA’s influence on campus and the student body has fluctuated. But you always have the power to organize students and pressure administrators to make change.

While passing legislation at Monday meetings is important, it's only half of the job — and not many resolutions ever deliver meaningful change. The goal isn't to "pass" a lot of legislation that will die in the Academic Senate. Instead, push for policies that are realistic.

Being a member of SGA is no small task. 

If you focus on being the eye, ears and voice of the student body as the administration works to remedy the budget deficit, your influence and power will grow. 

Good luck in your new positions. We are hopeful for what you will do for the students of CMU.