SGA President, freshman senators talk importance of getting involved

Published by , Author: Adam Zook - Assistant News Editor, Date: March 8, 2018

The Slippery Rock Student Government Association serves as the main link between the student body and school administration, while allocating money and support to campus organizations and clubs. For current SGA President Rachel Lawler, a four-year member of SRSGA, getting involved early in the organization was one of her best decisions.

“I became a senator in December of my freshman year because I wanted to pursue a leadership position,” Lawler said. “I really believe it was the right decision for me because of how SGA has helped me grow the more I involved myself.”

Lawler ran for a building senator position at the end of her freshman year, but lost in her bid for the seat. She was encouraged  by recently elected President Logan Steigerwalt to pursue the position of parliamentarian, a position she held during her sophomore and junior year. Lawler was elected as SGA President in the spring of 2017.

“SGA has definitely helped me gain those leadership skills that I always wanted,” Lawler said. “When I became parliamentarian as a sophomore, it was hard to make the adjustment to that new leadership role. I had great support from my fellow e-board members who helped me get to where I am now.”

Corinne Rockefeller and Emily Smolinsky are freshmen who were appointed on February 12 to serve as building senators by SGA. Rockefeller serves as the senator for Rhoads Hall and Smolinsky serves the same position for North Hall. Both young senators felt the same need Lawler had to get involved in student government early on.

Rockefeller is a environmental studies major and held numerous leadership positions in high school. Despite only serving in her position for the past few weeks, she already feels accepted by her peers and values the guidance they have provided her with.

“My first semester I felt like I had all this extra time and that I wasn’t as involved as I really could be,” Rockefeller said. “I thought SGA would be the best first step for branching out and learning more about how to best help out my peers. I’m still learning a lot about my position, but the senators have really made me feel included.”

Smolinsky, a political science major, wanted to get involved in an organization that she could make a difference in over her four years here. After hearing from one of her peers that SGA was the best way to make a positive impact on campus and that North Hall didn’t have a current representative, she decided to pursue the position.

“Every one of the senators has been so friendly so far and has made the transition really easy,” Smolinsky said. “I would recommend getting involved in SGA because it’s a great way to get your feet wet and reach out to fellow students. I’m eager to represent my constituents and possibly work my way up the ladder over the next four years.”

For some students entering student government, the initial wave of new terms like “parliamentary procedure” or “capital budget” can be daunting.

President Lawler stresses however that there is a place for anyone who is driven and wants to excel in areas they are interested in contributing to.

“There is a niche or avenue for anyone to contribute in SGA,” Lawler said. “If you’re into math, there’s the finance committee. If you’re more into the public relations side of things, there’s campus outreach. We’re happy to have incoming freshmen who want to make a difference in their own unique way.”