The SGA: Why You Should Care

The SGA (Student Government Association) is the dominant figure in student life at Stevens. If the SGA likes you, your club is probably going succeed at Stevens and get pretty much whatever it wants. On the other hand, if the SGA doesn’t like you, expect to get popular events hosted by your organization cut. How does the SGA do this? The SGA is in control of distributing the student activity fee ($220.00 per student) to clubs and other events as it sees fit. Despite the other roles the SGA has, this one is most prominent. Budgeting affects everyone at Stevens, whether it kills a club they cherish or gets rid of an event they’ve always loved to go to with friends. It affects everyone, but it should take a backseat to a more important role: being a unified, representative voice for the undergraduate student body.

In the event of a controversy, the SGA, most notably its president, is supposed to look out for the best interests of the student body – that includes criticizing individuals for suppressing human rights despite the possibility that they might revoke a large donation (although endowment is an issue for administration and does not inherently deal with representing the rights of the student body). This is one of the most overlooked roles of the SGA as it is not always the most prevalent; however, when controversy arises, the SGA’s most visible function – budgeting – should take a backseat.

The last role of the SGA is to improve campus life for all students. This is the broadest role that the SGA takes on. Sure, the other two roles could fall into this one – but “improving campus life” is supposed to take on a more “unique” meaning. Such as working to improve access to feminine hygiene products on campus (yay!), or working on making campus smoke-free (hmmm, ok), or the work they’re most proud of, getting new Adirondack chairs! How else will we be able to relax after a hard day at work or working to improve life on campus. I mean, if my crowning achievement was something this grand that it caused me to slack off on all my other duties, including representing the student body, I’d surely want to get paid for all this hard work!

Wait a minute… Someone looked at the agenda for the next meeting? Damn it, guess we’ll have to try again next week. *SGA adds a tally mark under the “fails to blind the student body” column*

About the Author

Mark Krupinski
Freshman Computational Science who explores the issues of integrating technology within society in "Technically Speaking" Current Outreach Chair