Join: Student Government Association

Published on Sep 10, 2013

The Student Government Association (SGA) works hard to make sure the student voice is heard on campus. The cool thing most people don’t know is that it’s really easy to get involved and become an elected official to represent your department. Plus, you can get some killer experience to kick start your communication, organization and leadership skills. We talked to SGA president, Nicole Caroll, who is a junior majoring in fiction writing along with vice president, Katie Moriarty, a fine-arts major, to give you the lo-down on SGA.

So, how did you get involved with SGA?

Nicole: I saw the student body president speak at convocation my freshman year. When she gave her speech, I said, “That’s going to be me one day.” I just gave my convocation speech this year so it's all come full circle. It was really cool. 

Katie: I came to quite a few SGA events through Nicole and it seemed like a great way to get involved on campus.

What exactly does SGA do?

Nicole: We advocate to better the experience for all students on campus. Ideally, we have 30 senators—20 who represent each department and 10 at-large senators for the entire student body. Each senator talks to the department chair and students to find out what they need and brings back requests for funding, support, events, etc. for approval and discussion. It’s a great experience for anyone who is looking at a career in communication, leadership or fundraising.

Can you give me an example?

We recently voted to have the U-Pass extended for five days before and after the semester to help students moving in and out. Also, we helped support the AEMM senator to hold a conference for students with professionals in their field and provided equipment, like headphones for the radio department and books for the fashion department, at the request of their senator.

What opportunities do students have to get involved?

Right now, our online applications are open until October 18 to become a senator to represent your department. There is a list of vacant positions that we’d like to fill on our website to give each department a voice.

Plus, students can come to any one of our meetings, every Tuesday from 5-6:00 pm in the Loft (916 S. Wabash, 4th flr). In a typical meeting, we discuss different initiatives coming up.

What have you gained from being part of SGA?

Nicole: I am definitely more confident. I really feel like I found a place to belong. I wasn’t involved in anything in high school and have really appreciated my experience here because of that. And, it helps you be really on top of things.

Katie : It helped my confidence, too. Before SGA, I never saw myself as a leader. [Being a part of SGA] gave me the opportunity to step into that role and own it. I developed a lot professionally as well.  I feel a lot more capable.

What’s Coming Up?

Nicole: SGA elections! Please come to our meetings if you're interested. This could be a great opportunity for someone who wants to get involved and meet more people, plus it looks great on your resume!