SGA offers involved students a lot of great opportunities, but honestly for most of my time here I haven’t seen them do much more else than put out a few polls concerning the caf hours. And yet, as this semester has been riddled with student complaints, SGA has been very efficient in dealing with student problems.
Though it can be annoying to have parking problems or issues with meal replacements, the work of the student government this semester has made students feel cared for, or in the least, heard.
The solutions being reached aren’t perfect, but as soon as something seems unsettling to students, SGA addresses the issue quickly–whether it be a poll sent out to students or Chris Moore, SGA president, out talking to people in person.
SGA enacted its constitution change this semester, with representatives being elected at the start of the new school year. This may help students feel more connected and involved in with their representatives. What these changes really mean, however, is the executive board alone, led by Moore, was responsible for the quick responses and efforts for the first month of school.
I never was one to believe SGA had much power to change things, except that one time they got Outtakes to open at 7:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.
In a semester where students are struggling to feel heard by administration, there is a clear effort for campus to be seen by its student government association.
Sometimes the results aren’t what we wanted, or expected, but the effort is there. Sometimes we have to understand that reconciling so many different perspectives and needs into one solution just isn’t possible, but they’re trying. And for that, The Voice applauds them.
It is difficult to have an administration that isn’t communicating what changes are happening on campus, and the side effects of those changes can be frustrating. Yet, despite this, SGA has made it a priority to step in and serve the students. When side effects of construction have affected campus life, SGA has done all it can to alleviate inconveniences and hear complaints.
When parking alternatives weren’t satisfying students, SGA was quick to push out polls and personnel to better understand student needs and listen to possible solutions. When long lines at Samsons resulted in student complaints, Moore and his team were fast to look for new hours that would work best for everyone.
Rather than complain about every negative thing that’s been affecting our lives as students this semester, let’s shift our perspective and focus on these positive efforts by our peers.
I find that it’s easy to grumble when things are difficult, but to know someone is listening to your concerns and actively looking to solve the issue is a great reminder for all of us to do the same for others. When we have the opportunity, we should work to support and help our fellow students and humans.
But more importantly, the efforts of SGA this semester have reminded me to be more appreciative. Especially as a student with a voice (pun intended) on campus, it’s necessary that I direct our attention to the good that often gets overlooked because, well, there are other parts of Vanguard we love to hate. And though I fully endorse constructive criticism to improve the things you love, affirmation and appreciation are just as important.
Vanguard is going to continue to change, grow, and cause problems for students. That’s just how running a university goes. By learning now how to balance our criticism with our encouragement, we will learn something even more valuable from our higher education to bring with us into the rest of our lives.