SGA set to increase awareness about organization

by Beacon Staff • January 25, 2006

With eight newly elected officers in place, four of whom are voting members, Daniel believes the stage is set for exciting changes and new projects for the SGA.,As the Student Government Association (SGA) gears up for a new semester, President Kirstin Daniel said she thinks the organization is poised to make a great deal of progress through organizing community events and improving public relations.

With eight newly elected officers in place, four of whom are voting members, Daniel believes the stage is set for exciting changes and new projects for the SGA.

"This semester we would like to take part in more diversity and community service events," said Daniel, a senior theatre studies major.

Daniel said she would especially like the department senator projects, which occur each semester, to be more extensive.

She said she would like to expand last semester's "meet and greet" sessions to include activities and workshops that could help increase knowledge about respective fields. Daniel said she will begin discussing this plan with the senators soon.

Daniel said she also hopes to continue the SGA's dedication to increasing public awareness about the group's function.

Last semester, the SGA spent a great deal of meeting time brainstorming ideas to improve elections and to create greater communication between the organization and the student body.

Daniel said this is important because the SGA has the ability to aid other groups on campus.

"We are in charge of over $400,000 and 3,000 students. We have a lot more power to change things on campus than people realize," she said.

Daniel said she would also like to better publicize school elections.

Last year, more than 20 percent of the student body came out to vote, Class of 2006 President Shannon Keaveney and music education major said in September.

Daniel said she hopes to have a plan for increasing voter knowledge and turnout firmly in place before the elections for the 2006-2007 academic year, which occur in early spring.

"I would like to have spots on [Emerson Independent Video], and have it be a real election, not just posters," Daniel said.

Daniel intends to achieve this with the help of a public relations team led by Press Secretary John Hanlon, a senior organizational and political communication major. The team will consist of three to four Emerson Marketing Communication [EMCOMM] members. This idea has been discussed since September but will go into full swing this semester, she said.

Hanlon, who was assistant opinion editor for The Beacon last year, said the team's primary objectives are to reintroduce the SGA newsletter, which details SGA happenings, and to promote the March elections.

This could help students like freshman organizational and political communication major Ashton Elder, who said she didn't feel she had enough information to vote in December's special elections.

"I saw the signs and posters, but nobody made it really known," she said, "I didn't know who to choose."

Class of 2009 President Benjamin Rauhala, a writing literature and publishing and theatre studies double major, said getting in touch with student needs is among his top priorities.

"We have an idea to sit at the table outside the dining hall with a sign: 'Tell us an issue and we'll give you a cookie,'" Rauhala said.

Daniel said she is particularly excited to have the Class of 2009 officers onboard, because they can provide insight into what she called "the changing climate" of the college.

"The school is heading in a different direction," she said. "It's more challenging to get into. There is also a lot of emphasis on communication now that the campus is moving closer together in actual distance."

Class of 2009 Senator Nathaniel Berends believes it is crucial that students bring their issues to the SGA, so the group can help remedy any problems.

"It's an organization that has an amazing amount of power to help the student body," Berends said.