SGA Parliamentarian reflects on her accomplishments and time at SRU

Published by , Author: Joshua Kellem - Rocket Contributor, Date: February 27, 2017
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Rachel Lawler, SGA parliamentarian, said her position handles the changes and updates to SGA’s constituion and bylaws, as well as ensuring all formal meetings run smoothly, utilizing Robert’s Rules of Order. Lawler says she is also in charge of organizing an advocacy project each semester and is the chairperson for the Rules and Policies Committee.

Lawler said she didn’t know about the parliamentarian job until she was on staff.

While not hidden, it’s unknown how many SRU students know about their entitled legal advice and access to proclamations.  These free services are provided by SGA, specifically Lawler.

“These two items are not necessarily hidden,” Lawler said.  “I know for sure that we have advertised our free legal advice on the website and the proclamations, as well.  I have written several proclamations for different individuals, clubs, organizations and sports teams with recognizing them and their various accomplishments.”

Interestingly enough, Lawler was not elected for her current position on staff. In fact, Lawler has never been elected by the student body for any position she has served on SGA.

“I was not elected into SGA last spring because I was the election commissioner; I ran the entire elections process,” Lawler said.  “I was a freshman senator for half of my freshman year. Then, I was appointed to parliamentarian for my sophomore and junior years through an application and interview process by the current SGA president.”

Lawler said she was born and raised in Boothwyn, Pa., approximately 20 minutes from Philadelphia.

“I came to Slippery Rock for the education,” Lawler said.  “This was my first choice.”

Like most of her fellow SGA members, Lawyer is not a political science major.  Instead, Lawler is a junior exercise science major with a minor in leadership.

“I joined SGA my freshman year because I wanted to get more involved on campus and SGA was the way to do it,” Lawler said.  “My career plans are to become a certified athletic trainer and work for a large high school or small D-I college.”

As a junior, Lawler will be entering her last election season later this month to decide next year’s staff.

“I do plan on running for SGA in the spring for the VP of Internal Affairs,” Lawler said.

Looking back, Lawler said her only regret was not joining FLSP as a freshman. Lawler’s accomplishments in SGA are what make her most proud.

“My biggest accomplishment would be hosting the 1st and 2nd Annual Suite Thanksgiving Dinner this year and last,” Lawler said.  “This event included all organizations, staff and GAs that reside in the suite, along with a few other clubs such as Green and White Society and ARHS. All administration was invited as well.”

Furthermore, Lawler said during the event there was diversity training and a AVI-catered Thanksgiving meal for all.

As far as a lasting impact, Lawler emphasizes her work with SGA as her legacy.

“Being part of SGA my whole time here would be an empowering impact all in itself.” Lawler said. “This organization does so much for the students and campus community that I’m hoping we are providing a positive experience for all students and faculty and staff as well.”

While SGA may not have much to do with her major, Lawler says she has learned a lot.

“SGA has taught me how to problem-solve, engage in crucial conversations with a positive outcome, properly plan/organize events and just overall professionalism,” Lawler said.

Lawler is also involved in the new campus club Spark.

“I love how they advocate for a positive atmosphere and do random acts of kindness around campus,” Lawler said.

If students are interested in joining SGA, election season is on the horizon.

“Elections will be starting the beginning of March and ending mid-April,” Lawler said. “Yes, there are requirements to run. They will be advertised by the election committee come the end of February.”

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