BY BECKY FULTON – STAFF WRITER
With the new school year underway, Centre’s Student Government Association (SGA) is busy at work implementing new plans to benefit students around campus. SGA President Sarah Hutchinson, a senior Behavioral Neuroscience major, is head of the new SGA executive team, that is creating ideas and talking to students about what they want to see happen on Centre’s campus this year.
“Most important is student priority,” Hutchinson said. “We really look through every suggestion, dividing ideas out to committees. If students don’t want [these ideas], we won’t waste our time.”
Already this semester, SGA has approved Centre Writers and received special funding requests, and their communication with students is growing.
“Our communication affairs is better than ever,” Hutchinson said. “General Sessions are open to everyone.”
These sessions are every other Thursday in Olin 124, and the Minutes for the meeting are posted online.
Another student initiated project SGA has taken up include new rocking chairs outside the Campus Center, and others to follow will be from committees.
“We’re working on big things in committees,” Hutchinson said.
This includes utilizing major representatives and the Center for Careers and Professional Development to help the first year and sophomore students make informed decisions when choosing a major.
“Student affairs is really being personalized,” said Hutchinson.
This also stems from the fact that in the past spring when the voter turnout for the SGA elections was high, with around 750 votes.
The increase in the size of the student body also shows the change in SGA’s approach with its student representatives.
“We had 16 to 17 first years run to be reps, and it was a more diverse group,” Hutchinson said. “It’ll be an interesting new perspective.”
Another result of work done by committees includes meetings with Sodexo staff once a month where both sides can give feedback on student opinions and ideas for upcoming dinners. These meetings have led to more and refined options in the cereal and gluten free sections in Cowan Dining Commons, along with the expanded burger section.
Further events by SGA will be an upcoming convocation entitled “Beat the Blame Game,” about sexual assault victims and an interactive conversation about how to discuss these topics. This is also sponsored by the Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, the Student Life Office, and the Student Activities Council.
Hutchinson also hopes to improve campus safety.
“Campus safety was one of my big platforms.”
She wants to make sure all students feel safe on campus and send out a survey to students to get their voices heard or find out if they have any suggestions regarding how to improve safety that can be passed on to Centre’s Department of Public Safety.
Overall, SGA has set out many plans for themselves this year and hopes to get students involved and hear more of what they want. With a record number of incoming first year students, SGA’s role as the voice of the student is also increasing as these students get their voices heard.
“I’m excited for the new year,” Hutchinson said. “It’s amazing to see younger students with passion and life.”