Hello again, everyone! My name is Bryce Rowland, and I currently serve as your Student Government Association Speaker of the House. I have had a remarkable experience this year serving the student body in a myriad of ways as Speaker, and I ask that you would allow me to continue to serve the student body during my senior year at Centre College. This year as Speaker, I have learned all about our college, our SGA, and students’ perceptions of our organization. Some students really enjoy our presence on campus and some students don’t; however, many students believe that the Student Government Association is not equipped to solve big problems on campus. While SGA has done a good job over the past few years funding organizations or projects around campus, we have not done a good job dealing with bigger problems surrounding our campus environment. This is where I have found my niche this past year as your Speaker of the House, and where I promise that I will continue to work hard in the year to come.
Through this past year, I have invested in the issues of increasing mental health awareness on Centre’s campus as well as the Green Revolving Fund. In regards to mental health, I am in the process of finishing up the plans for an event known as Send Silence Packing. Partnering with the national organization Active Minds, Centre College will host a traveling exhibit of 1,100 backpacks, each representing one of the college-aged lives lost to suicide each year. Accompanying Send Silence Packing will be QPR training around campus hosted by Counseling Service to empower more students to act when faced with an individual considering suicide. I invite each of you to attend the event on Thursday, April 14th on the lawn in front of the Campus Center. My hopes for this event is that it would bring into the light issues of mental health which are often deemed too taboo to talk about, and that this event would empower many of you to speak up about mental health. In addition to mental health, I have been working closely with Dr. Miles, CEA, and other representatives from around the college on green initiatives on campus. During my service on several committees this year, we are now poised and hopeful to increase the size of the Green Revolving Fund to match those at comparable institutions. I am excited to continue the work that my fellow committee members around campus and I started this year next year as your Speaker of the House.
In addition to the issues of mental health awareness and green initiatives, I am excited to continue the conversation from this year’s Posse Plus Retreat and work with diverse groups around campus to make sure that all voices on this campus are represented and respected. To confront this issue, I would like to partner with the Diversity Student Union to promote open spaces in which students can come and have a dialogue about the issues which affect them on this campus in an open and honest space alongside faculty, staff and administration. When dealing with issues surrounding diversity, it is crucial that all groups are represented in these discussions and that we are able to speak with respect towards one another. As Speaker of the House, I will pursue experiences like this for the student body, as well as focus on bringing effective programming to campus to help continue the conversation.
The position of Speaker of the House has been a challenging one, an exciting one, and one that I am ready to hold again. In General Sessions over this academic year, I have threaded the needle while moderating intense discussions, which can become explosive at times, and I have proven that I am capable of keeping the meetings both efficient and effective. I have held true to my promise of making General Session more open by holding a Town Hall meeting in the fall semester at which SGA discussed the smoking resolution. In the coming year, as your Speaker of the House, I promise four things to the student body: to solve big problems on this campus, offer myself to the student body as resource for every student, maintain Centre SGA’s tradition of excellence, and focus on the issues which Centre students truly care about in our quest to make Centre College the most outstanding institution for an undergraduate education. I thank you for reading my platform, and I respectfully ask for your vote this week.