SGA plans change for students

3rd row: Noah Connor, Vice President; Sam Morrison, Director of Finance; Dontae Thomas, Sophomore Class Representative. 2nd row: Nasa Holt, Senior Class Representative; Lauren Novsak, President; Anthony Plaag, Director of Diversity and Inclusion; Olivia Hare, Director of Public Relations and Alumni Outreach. 1st row: Daniel Habron, Speaker of the Senate; Joe Battiato, Director of Philanthropy; Yanelle Boayue, Junior Class Representative. (Photo from SGA facebook page)

This year Stevenson University’s Student Government Association (SGA) plans not only to listen to students, but implement policies that reflect the goals of Stevenson and the needs of students.

SGA’s executive board in a meeting. (Photo from SGA’s facebook page.)

The SGA is under the leadership of President Lauren Novsak, Vice President Noah Conner, and the new executive board. The executive board consists of 12 members and about 50 senators in the Senate.

The SGA is one of the three policymaking bodies on campus, including the Faculty Council and the Board of Trustees. The board is made up of mostly business professionals, while the Faculty Council is comprised of Stevenson faculty. Because there are not any students on either of these policymaking bodies, Novsak explained that the SGA’s job is “students advocating for students.”

SGA stands as the mediator between the students and the faculty, staff, and administration to make sure that the students are always at the center of every decision made at the university. Even though the board of trustees and the faculty council do a good job of making student-focused decisions, sometimes they may “overlook certain details, and it is the SGA’s job to step in and remind them,” said Novsak.

WHAT IS NEW?

Novsak’s main goal this year is to educate the campus community about the importance of the SGA through a strong social media campaign with student engagement on a variety of social media platforms.

Back row: Noah Connor, vice president; Sam Morrison, director of finance; Dontae Thomas, sophomore class representative. Middle row: Nasa Holt, senior class representative; Lauren Novsak, president; Anthony Plaag, director of diversity and inclusion; Olivia Hare, director of public relations and alumni outreach. Front row: Daniel Habron, speaker of the senate; Joe Battiato, director of philanthropy; Yanelle Boayue, junior class representative. (Photo from SGA Facebook page)

This year SGA has decided to dissolve the director of clubs and organizations position and introduce a new position on the board, director of diversity and inclusion. Novsak believes that having a student at that position better reflects the university’s mission, and the SGA’s mission should reflect the goals of the university on the student level.

Overall, the repeating factor is student representation. The benefits of hearing student voices in different committees around campus allows everyone in the campus community to “have a seat at the table.” In a tip of the hat to “Hamilton,” the musical, Novsak asks, “If we’re not in the room where it happens, how can we guarantee that the students’ best interests are at heart?”

This year’s executive board is already busy forming a multicultural club coalition to bring students together and use the resources that they have to engage peers of all backgrounds.

So far, the board has been more “intentional” with student interactions, said Novsak, to get everyone on campus to know a little more about the SGA by attending different events around campus and meeting new people.

SGA Tuesdays, where all 12 members of the executive cabinet dress either business casual or business professional and wear their SGA name tags, will continue, in order to help students identify those SGA members working on their behalf.

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