As the school year commences, Stevenson University’s student body has elected Student Government Association (SGA) officers for 2019-2020.
According to the Stevenson SGA website, the group’s purpose is “to serve as an active representation of the student voice to the faculty, staff, and administration; we advocate for the incorporation of student views and opinions in the formulation of policies and procedures governing Stevenson University.”
Their duties include providing funding and management to clubs on campus in order to form a sense of community. To do so, they lead Stevenson through their office positions: president, vice president, speaker of the senate, chief justice, director of finance, director of service and philanthropy, director of public relations and alumni outreach, director of diversity and inclusion, and class representatives.
The current president of SGA is a third-year business administration major Dontae Thomas. As president of SGA, Thomas leads meetings and organizes the behind-the-scenes of a student government. He plans all SGA meetings, retreats, deadlines.
The group’s function as a whole is dependent on Thomas’ productivity. He is in charge of SGA emails, and responds to all emails sent to SGA. He also facilitates communication between the SGA and Stevenson administration.
Outside of SGA, Thomas is the M.I.L.E event planner, a first-year area resident assistant, a club baseball team player, the chair of the SGA (?) Homecoming committee and the chair of the food committee for the SGA senate.
The current vice president is a third-year visual communication design major with a minor in entrepreneurship, Emani Carter. She works with Thomas to organize meetings, and, in essence, assist Thomas in his duties.
“In my opinion, my duties are more ‘behind-the-scenes’ than the other cabinet members,” said Carter. “I have to be able to do all the things that Dontae [the president] does in case I have to take his place. I hold the student chair in the Student Service Faculty Committee, and I am the head of the Student Service Committee in the SGA Senate. Aside from those things, on a more relaxed basis, I help the other executive cabinet members with whatever they need, go to events to support the student body, and try to advocate for the student issues that come my way.”
The position of speaker of the senate is held by third-year criminal justice major Jessica Anne Koch. Her role is to plan and organize bi-weekly senate meetings. Koch’s other duties include finding guest speakers from faculty, staff and university partners, and she is also the direct line of correspondence between the student body and the student government.
Koch was previously the senate secretary. She said that the biggest challenge for this year is “increasing attendance at senate meetings and increase the awareness that they are a campus-wide and student-wide event,” and she is excited to take it head-on.
The newest position on SGA’s E-board is the role of chief justice, held by third-year legal studies major Jaden Thornton. He serves as a non-biased member of the executive cabinet, runs elections, and creates guidelines for elections and voting.
Additionally, Thornton’s role permits him to make edits and supervise any constitutional changes, and oversee associate justices in their position. He also facilitates meetings of the judicial board.
Gabe Madro, the current director of finance for the SGA, is a senior accounting major. He handles all direct finances of the organization and the allocation of finances to clubs. Besides being a member of SGA’s E-board, Madro is a senior resident assistant for the Office of Residence Life.
The current director of service and philanthropy is second-year business communication major Marriah Boyd. Her duties include organizing, planning, and executing various service projects to be hosted around campus as well as in the surrounding Baltimore community.
“I am excited to not only be able to host different types of service projects around Stevenson and its community,” Boyd said, “but to also see the Stevenson University community come together as a whole in order to execute these service projects that will benefit so many people.”
The director of public relations and alumni outreach is senior computer information systems major Brandon Stephens, who runs the SGA social media accounts and website, and works with alumni to help them get involved on campus.
The director of diversity and inclusion is senior public history major Anthony Plaag. He works closely with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to plan diversity events and outreach.
The class representatives are meant to be a voice of their class, a catalyst for change, and advocate for class needs. They host council meetings and facilitate the student space to voice concerns of what students want.
The current class representatives include the following:
Ashley Hamilton – Senior class representative
Brandi Hall – Junior class representative
Marie-Clare Ofoegbu – Sophomore class representative
The freshman class has yet to elect their class representative; however, they will be elected before the end of September.