By Casey Niebuhr | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Flagler College Student Government Association (SGA) discussed ways to connect with student during its first open meeting of the semester on Tuesday.
Students at the meeting were greeted by SGA public relations chair and vice-chair Alana Caballero Rivera and Jasmine Card.
Caballero’s goal for her term is to heighten SGA recognition among the student body.
‘I want to make sure students know what SGA is and why it exists,’ Caballero said. ‘[SGA] is here to advocate for them when they voice a concern or a problem with the school that should be fixed. Most students do not know who to talk to about these issues and I want to make sure they understand that SGA is the place to have these discussions.’
Caballero and Card were followed with introductions by chair and vice-chair of the public service committee, Michaela Sipes and Shane Nelson, who advocated for an event to commemorate Suicide Awareness Month, or Suicide Prevention Month, to bring attention to a topic they believe is not often talked about.
The SGA board further noted four vacant positions open to students: chair and vice-chair of the spirit committee, and chair and vice-chair of the student interest committee. All inquiries are to be referred to SGA@flagler.edu.
The executive board was later introduced, consisting of president Spencer Hooker, vice-president Jake Van Clief, secretary Samantha Calascione and treasurer Rachel Hill.
Hill’s current focus is working with Flagler College Interim President John Delaney and other campus staff to provide a 24-hour workspace for students.
‘I can relate to the students who are night owls and cannot get anything done within their resident hall,’ said Hill. ‘[Students] need a safe place to go on campus at all hours of the night.’
Jake Van Clief, the newest member of the executive board, has his own mission to further sustainability efforts, pushing for LEED certification of buildings and residence halls to produce a resource-efficient campus.
But Van Clief’s efforts do not stop at going green: he’s pushing for a support group where military members and those from military families on campus can support each other.
A former sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, Van Clief’s emphasis on mental and physical support is clear, saying ‘It’s important to have a [space] for people to talk to individuals who’ve been through similar circumstances [and] why they [may resent] the military.
‘I hope over the next couple weeks to really narrow down on what people want, how many veterans we have at the school, how many people at the school have a family member [in the military]… I think it’s worth the challenge.’
The SGA board and committees, though interested in individual missions, are unified under a common goal to increase student involvement on campus.
‘The more students that care about the community and want to get involved,’ said Hooker, ‘the easier it is to create that change on and off campus…Flagler [College] has the potential to make meaningful change, but we need to desire that change first.’
Hooker went on to advertise next week’s General Assembly meeting (Tuesday, September 5th) when the board will vote on club funding. He encourages all students to attend and that they ‘have a voice through SGA.’
SGA hosts general assemblies every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Student Center.