The Students? Association, as part of its new initiative of reinventing the student government, had a work session Saturday, Sept. 29. Student group representatives were invited from all over campus for a brainstorming session, in which a number of issues were discussed, like the role of SA government, its accessibility to students and improvements that could be made to it.

?Our hope [was] to gather students, faculty and staff together to work in small groups to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current forms of student government and to discuss the overall mission for our student government,? said Director of Student Activities Rob Rouzer.

The work session was the first step in the new project of improving government. Students were invited from registered student organizations, the Student Athletes Advisory Committee, and the residence halls? advisory groups.

A number of issues and ideas were discussed to evaluate the current student government as well as to see how well it is meeting the needs of students today.

?Our current form of student government has been around for approximately 30 years,? senior and SA President John LaBoda said. ?During the past two years, The College has evaluated itself, and has undergone many changes. As student government leaders, we felt that now is an appropriate time to evaluate our own government?s mission, and make sure our mission is representing and meeting the needs of the students.?

On whether the current government had any weaknesses, Senior and LaBoda?s Chief of Staff Lonny Mallach said that there are no glaring weaknesses. ?There are definitely things that can be improved,? he said. Mallach explained that the constitution of the SA government is outdated and needs to be changed.

As to what specific changes or improvements could be made for students, the session was merely preliminary and many ideas were discussed.

However, senior and SA treasurer Malik Ev-ans said that the topics were chosen to discuss ways to improve the quality of life on campus for students. ?We talked about everything from food in the dining centers to the quality of parking services,? he said. ?We want to look at student government and look at what students want from it,? Evans continued.

Mallach said that changes would be considered in the role of the government, allocation of resources and interaction with students.

More meetings and sessions are planned for the future. ?Our conversations will continue, and we plan on actively seeking more feedback from students regarding the mission of student government,? LaBoda said. ?Any ideas and opinions are greatly welcomed.?

Chandra can be reached as pchandra@campustimes.org.



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