As the Student Government Association (SGA) executive board members take office for the year, SGA President Dallas Kline reflects on the meaning of her election campaign’s slogan, OneSRU.
Not only is Kline new to her position, but there are several senators and executive board members who are new to their positions, including Kennedy Moore, who has not served on senate before becoming vice president of diversity and inclusion.
“For us, as an internal organization, we’re trying to work together as one as a new cohesive unit,” Kline said.
As vice president of diversity and inclusion, which is a new executive board position this year, Moore oversees the social justice committee. In order to create connections with staff, faculty and administration, Moore is currently meeting with Corinne Gibson of the Office for Inclusive Excellence, Noora Alie of the Office for Global Engagement, Natalie Burick of the Office of Disability Services and Jodi Solito of the Women’s Center and Pride Center.
“It’s going to really be about establishing those connections to make sure that underrepresented students have a voice and that their issues and concerns are being met not only one time, but throughout their whole entire process here at SRU,” Moore said.
According to Logan Tupper, vice president of finance, his committee is focusing on the conference grant, which sets aside $2,500 per semester to reimburse registration fees for students attending conferences. Additionally, Tupper plans on giving presentations to various organizations on campus to discuss the process to receive funding.
“I want to reach out to as many clubs and organizations as possible to make sure they are informed on the finance policy so they know what we can fund and what we can’t,” Tupper said.
In terms of sustainability, the executive board is investigating various changes and new projects. Some of these changes, however, will not take place until after the spring semester. One of these changes includes a possible restructuring of the senate. While SRU’s SGA is organized largely based on residence, many other student governments have a different structure.
“The way our senate is structured right now is very different than a lot of other SGAs, and that brings up the question of, ‘Is it as functional as it can be?’,” Tupper said. “That’s why we’re looking into possibly restructuring.”
The executive board is researching different type of schools and their student government structure. The two most popular structures are organized based on class standing and academic college.
“Those are the two most popular types of senate structures, but I’m not saying we’re leaning toward one way or the other,” Kline said.
Kline is also looking to organize a “big event” in the spring in connection with the borough and township. During the event, clubs and organizations on campus would go into the community and complete service projects.
“It’s like a big way to say, ‘Thank you’ to the community,” Kline said.
There are also goals for several committee-specific projects. These include the food pantry in the Macoskey Center, a project led by Elizabeth Hernandez, vice president of student and academic affairs. Tupper and the finance committee plan to organize a capital project while one of Moore’s personal goals is to organize a tunnel of oppression with other organizations on campus.
“I definitely feel like that’s something this campus can benefit from and it will open a lot of eyes and hopefully start new connections and make good things happen here,” Moore said.