Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

SGA members reflect on strengths, issues

With a new executive board chosen for SGA next year, current president Richie Benson said there were both strengths and weaknesses throughout this past year.
One change Benson hopes to see next year is for SGA to be more proactive rather than reactive to events such as protest demonstrations.
“We have to find a way to be prepared for events that may happen,” said Benson. “We need to work with other group presidents to address and fix any problems.”
He added that “the executive board could have done a better job reaching out to groups and informing them about the benefits of SGA,” said Benson.
Elected president for next year along with vice president Jackie Jastrzebski, David Sommers, current SGA secretary, agreed that knowing the purposes of SGA is important.
“We need to educate groups better to know that SGA is here to help. Groups don’t just have to come to SGA for money but for any additional needs,” Sommers said.
When asked about the strengths of SGA this past year, Benson said, “We used our committees to the fullest extent. I think that especially for next year, people should be giving committees more praise. They were the ones to help put grips on Swanson Bridge.”
The grips were added to panels along the bridge so that students would not slip on them.
Benson said that SGA also did a good job trying to bring peace to campus during the protests.
“We brought as many group presidents together to solve a goal,” said Benson. “What was great is we had members of every background but put aside any differences to work together.”
One of the biggest issues this year for SGA was when $7000 from the budget went missing due to a business office mismanagement.
“We handled the problem very well,” Benson said. “We did the best we could being $7000 behind. A major help to the problem was treasurer Jamie Conroy who did a great job with keeping SGA’s budget.”
Sommers said a “business issue” such as this one would not happen next year.
Benson said overall, though, distribution of the budget went well, especially during winter term.
Sommers added that “SGA did phenomenal job of getting our name out. We also did a good job making sure we helped out with as many groups as possible.”
For next year, Sommers said SGA needs to be more transparent by “making (it) more of a public forum and informing the students of what SGA does.”
Sommers wants to continue to promote safety on campus as well, labeling it as one of the “biggest concerns on campus.” He would like a larger contingency fund, too.
“There are more and more groups on campus and we need more funds for these groups,” Sommers said.
After SGA granted $740 last week to the Muslim Student Association and the Augie International Club, there is approximately $4,000 left for the remainder of the school year.

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SGA members reflect on strengths, issues