Complete restructure may create a student senate and new committees
By Alicia Nierenstein
Flagler’s Student Government Association is looking at a major restructuring this semester with the goal of creating a student senate, new organizational committees and a new constitution by next fall.
In the past, SGA struggled to define itself and maintain a strong student interest, according to Andrew Petersen, chair of SGA’s academic committee. He said the organizational restructuring aims to fix these problems and represent the student body more efficiently.
“It used to be an award-winning SGA,” Petersen said. “This is a return to the glory days.”
According to Grant Gillenwater, vice chair of the academic committee, the change would allow SGA to become more of a governmental entity, instead of solely focusing on campus activities for the students.
The revamped SGA would have 40 student senate representatives to start out. Petersen said that anyone will be able to run, regardless of major or experience.
The new committees under consideration would be internal affairs, academic affairs, community outreach and student affairs. According to Peterson, one of the problems with SGA in the past was that some members would show up to meetings and “do their own thing.” The internal affairs committee will try and keep the members and new senators on track.
Dean of Student Services Daniel Stewart was approached by SGA to present the idea of restructuring themselves.
“The whole reason that the [Campus Activities Board] was created was so that they could begin to focus on what they wanted to do,” Stewart said.
Currently, some students, such as Chelsea Keefe, feel that SGA is not as involved with the students as they advertise themselves to be.
“They might have posters up, but I do not think that they say what SGA actually does,” Keefe said.
In the past SGA has accomplished such things as conducting a survey about the new student center in order to receive feedback for the students’ preferences, as well as worked to gain more hours in the library, especially during exams week.
Director of Student Activities Carrie Meyer believes that SGA has always done a great job for the school.
“I think the organization will improve now that they are not completely focused on activities,” Meyer said.
One issue that SGA is trying to improve is the lack of lighting from the college to the city parking garage. SGA also hopes to get book lists from professors before semesters and address concerns over book prices at the bookstore, according to Petersen and Gillenwater.
However, SGA president, Ellie Baggett, says nothing is set in stone with regard to the restructure. And an exact date for senate elections hasn’t been established yet.
Petersen said that they likely will be held approximately two weeks after the elections for SGA officers at the end of this semester.
“We believe this reorganization is necessary for us to better represent the students,” Peterson said. “When we talk to the administration, we want the reputation that we represent the entire student body.”
“I am glad to see that this change is being made because now they will deal with more meaty issues,” Stewart said.
Students interested in learning more about the restructuring can attend SGA general sessions every Tuesday at 9 p.m., in K-424.