BY KOBI AZOULAY
“They are just a bunch of elitists who only care about themselves. There are too many rules. What do they even do?”
These are just a few of the countless complaints I have heard students say about Salisbury’s Student Government Association. If every one of them was compiled onto a list, it might seem like we are everything that is wrong with the school; no, the world.
As an SGA Senator on the Sustainability Committee, helping improve the campus’s environmental impact is my top priority.
Last semester I tried to bring an additional recycling dumpster to University Park to encourage more recycling. This required sending e-mails that took days, even weeks, to get responded to. Scheduling a meeting time with the President of UP that worked for both of us and the rest of the committee took even longer.
All of that effort ended in him telling us that he would consider our advice. Months later, nothing has changed.
Such is the reality of trying to navigate bureaucracy.
This is a common theme for all SGA members in every committee. In addition to the classes we take and our other extracurricular activities, we devote hours of time working on projects that often hit dead-ends.
Another grievance some students have about SGA is that we do not do any of the things they want.
Part of this is covered by my above explanation, but we are all human and cannot think of every way to fix campus alone.
Tell us the areas where the school is lacking in diversity. Alert us about any alarming environmental flaws on-campus. Let us know about any issues involving campus safety.
That is where the critics can make a truly valuable impact. Instead of telling their friends how we are terrible puppets for the university, they should come explain to us where we go wrong and how we can make it right.
Bridging the disconnect between SGA and the campus community is one of our top priorities.
The Senate recently approved a constitutional change to open up five executive board positions to student leaders outside of the SGA. We recognized that requiring SGA experience for Executive Board positions deprived the organization of outside opinions it so desperately needs.
Students with suggestions can express them through any of the following options:
- Online Suggestion Box. In the 21st century age of smartphones and tablets, the online suggestion box is the easiest way for students to students to make their opinions heard. Go to SalisburySGA.com and in the upper-left corner there is a yellow rectangle that says, “Suggestion Box.” Click on that box, voice your concerns and voila, your critique is now constructive.
- SGA Office. If you are feeling particularly brave you can venture into our evil lair: the Student Activities Office (cue the ominous wolf howl and lightning bolts). Go into the room straight ahead when you walk in and express your opinion/idea to an SGA Senator or Executive Board member. Then leave with the peace of mind knowing we now understand a piece of your mind.
- SGA Forums. Last, but certainly not least, way you can express your opinion to the SGA is by coming to forum. Every other Sunday at 6:30 p.m. there is a meeting in Purdue 156 where the Executive Board outlines major events happening on-campus. These gatherings also give students the opportunity to announce their ideas to a large portion of influential students. Your concern could connect with not only the SGA, but also other RSO leaders who might share your criticism.
Reforming Salisbury University to cater to the diverse needs of all of its students is a daunting task for about 40 SGA members to work on alone.
We are on your side, but we need your help.