Whenever the SGA is mentioned here at Middlebury, it always seems to solicit a rather unusual response: “Wait we have one?!” The follow up questions come in close for second and third: “What does it do? That’s just for PoliSci Majors right?”
As a resident SGA Senior Senator, I’d like to clarify a few things. First, we have an SGA. Second, the SGA does (or can and should do lots of things). And third, SGA is not just for PoliSci majors (take it from me, a former neuroscience, literary studies, and now finally history major).
From my approximate eight weeks in office, I’d love to quickly provide an understanding of what I’ve learned the SGA does, why you should care, and how you should get involved.
What does SGA do? SGA serves as the central voice of the student body. Students’ dreams, hopes, fears, and all types of emotions and desires should be the concern and soul of the SGA.
The SGA, feasibly, can do two things:
First, the SGA can pass resolutions. Resolutions essentially exert a strong statement on the behest of the student body to the administration and to the larger college & community. For example, last year the SGA passed an ROTC resolution, issuing a statement of support from the student body for the investigation of the reinstatement of ROTC.
Second, the SGA can pass bills. Bills provide funding and action for a project – which most recently has taken the form of SGA reinstating Midnight Breakfast and the 24 hour period at the library during finals after the Administration cut the funding of these initiatives.
Why YOU should care: As with any good democracy/republic (thanks for the history lesson Professor Hart), the right of a government to govern is only derived by a people’s consent. A representative government works best if its citizens are active and engaged in their society. More practically: do you want to know where your Student Activities Fee Money is going? Are you concerned with how the reserve Student Activities money is managed (on average, the SGA keeps a $200,000 reserve fund for emergencies, say like… a historic lighting strike devastating WRMC’s equipment. For real, look it up!)? Do you want to promote a resolution or bill on campus? Do you want more transportation options during breaks? Do you want to have a voice? Yeah, that’s what I thought. We’re Middkids after all, and there is not a one of us that doesn’t have an opinion about something or other!
How YOU should get involved: Our worth as an SGA is only measured by the level of larger student body participation. Want to get involved? Feel free to stop by an SGA meeting (Sundays, 7pm @ McCullough Crest Room), all meetings are open to the entire student body! Please write to the SGA directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to your senators and let them know of your concerns. Don’t know who your senators are? Well, you can always find them on the SGA website (go/sga), but here at Middblog we love to keep things easy, so we have them right here.
Atwater Commons: Jackie Breckenridge ‘14
Brainerd Commons: Christian Holmes ‘14
Cook Commons: Michael Polebaum ‘12
Ross Commons: Andrea Torres ‘13
Wonnacott Commons: Lucas Acosta ‘14
First Year: Danny Zhang ‘15 and Rana Abdelhamid ‘15
Sophomore: Nathan LaBarba ’14 and Joanie Thompson ‘14
Junior: Kathryn Benson ’13 and Fif Aganga ‘13
Senior: Brittany Gendron ’12 and Steve Marino ‘12
Feb: Luke Carroll Brown ‘13.5
InterHouse Council : Schooner Sonntag ‘13
Without your opinions and voices, we’re just a bunch of people hanging out in the Crest Room @7pm on Sunday nights. And while I like to think we have a general idea of what the student body wants, there’s nothing better than the real deal.