With students back on campus this semester, the Student Government Association has seen an increase in activity and membership and has been focused on helping new members and filling open positions.
“It’s been crazy busy,” said third-year member and Chief Justice of Student Congress, Julie Leppo. “Student government has been insane this year. The past two years it has been so slow since we haven’t had a full board of members, and this year we have 19 people. So we have a full staff and we’re up and running. Something about SGA feels really good this year.”
At the beginning of the fall semester, things were especially busy for the SGA. With multiple open positions and with many members having graduated over previous years, there was much work to do.
Leppo then looked back to the wall behind her filled with the names and positions of members.
“At the beginning of the year we had a couple of positions,” Leppo said. “We had vice president of Academics, vice president of Wellness, treasurer and several delegate positions open. But now after three weeks of applications, we’ve finally got them filled – which has taken a little bit. We’re there now, and that’s what’s important.”
With so many new members, the few who had already been a part of SGA would have to take on new positions of authority. Second-year student Adsel Sparrow is one such member from the Campus of Activities Board, or CAB for short.
Sparrow has had to take the mantle of vice president of Campus Activities.
“I’m a sophomore,” Sparrow said. “Generally people are not sophomores when they take this position. This is my second year in CAB and my first year in Student Congress.”
This year has begun with her helping to acclimate new members – of which there are many.
“Most of the Campus Activities Board is new people. There’s three of us who were here last year, so everyone else is a new person. Trying to get them involved in SGA, in CAB – just getting involved – it’s a lot of new people. It’s fun, but it definitely is a lot of work,” Sparrow said.
A quick assessment determined just how much of an increase has occurred.
“We’ve got upwards of 20 new members – sorry, upwards of 30, because we have all new justices as well,” Sparrow said.
With so many new members, meetings have had a change of pace.
“For Campus Activities, it’s quite nice. We don’t have enough seats at the table, and we have to keep bringing in chairs and sit shoulder to shoulder,” Sparrow said. “For me, this is my second year here, so I did all Zoom meetings last year, which was really something different – especially with a much smaller board.”
Though the meetings are a bit tight, Sparrow said it’s a nice problem to have.
“Having meetings in person is quite fun. It’s a lot easier to connect with everybody. As for Congress meetings, we are definitely running out of room on the table,” Sparrow chuckled. “It’s a lot of fun. Congress meetings tend to run long just because we have so much to go over, but with everybody there it makes it more enjoyable – especially in person. I’m excited just to see the people I have on my board. I know if I keep them and keep building it up, we can have robust Campus Activities – and part of that is also SGA. I also see it as a fun challenge. Trying to build up SGA and also CAB up from very minimal activity last year, and for me it’s quite fun to just make it more exciting – and make it something people want to do.”
Both Leppo and Sparrow are looking forward to how the new members will benefit SGA.
“We have a lot of new first-years that are involved as delegates,” Leppo said. “ I know personally that I’m really hoping that they’ll continue being delegates and seeking out higher positions so we have a strong board that is made of people who know how things operate.”