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New SGA VP gives roadmap for semester

Academic affairs committee chair Brandon McDonald introduces the committee at SGA's first meeting of the spring 2020 semester in the University Center, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.

Saginaw senior Brandon McDonald ran against Katie Prebelich in 2019 for the opportunity to be Central Michigan University’s Student Government Association President. He lost, yet a year later he now serves as vice president alongside his former opponent.

Brett John Houle, the previous vice president of SGA, resigned in November after receiving a job opportunity from the university. As McDonald was serving as the Chief of Staff, Houle and Prebelich chose him to step up as the next vice president of SGA.

“It’s very cool that (Katie and I) were opponents at one point and now we’re paired together,” McDonald said. “Nothing was really weird from it…it felt like it clicked.”

McDonald said he wants to blend his original campaign goals with Prebelich's. He hopes to focus on engagement projects like events and concerts, and plan them to adapt to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

“I do think that students are getting tired of all this virtual stuff happening,” McDonald said.

They are also looking at legislation this semester, he said. Notably, only one legislative item was voted on last semester, but more were being worked on within committees. 

A “huge portion” of the semester will be concerning the SGA election, McDonald said. Both Prebelich and McDonald are seniors, so there will be a shift in administrations next year.

McDonald said they are going to focus on a “positive transition” from one administration to the next over a four-week period. The newly elected members will basically shadow Prebelich and him to learn the ropes.

Before stepping up to fill Houle’s position, McDonald served as Chief of Staff and on the Academic Affairs Committee, where he helped create exam kits for students, he said. After he left the committee, the initiative continued during final exams in the Fall 2020 semester. This is his third year with SGA.

Most representatives from RSOs come to SGA so they can receive Student Budget Allocation Committee (SBAC) funding, McDonald said. This funding allows them to pay for conferences and events, but that’s been an issue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want SGA to be more than just (SBAC funding),” McDonald said. “I want (students) to come to because (they) believe (they) can make a difference at (their) university.”