Erin Van Horn has been greatly involved in the Northwestern community since she began serving on the Student Government Association her freshman year of college. As a freshman, her main role was to attend weekly meetings and help come up with new ideas that would benefit NW students. Currently, she is serving as NW’s student body president on the SGA staff, where she is in charge of organizing meetings, raising and distributing money for various campus groups and coming up with and carrying out unusual ideas to improve campus life.
“There is always campus buzz on what people are liking and disliking,” Van Horn said. “Whatever needs to be brought up and addressed, we talk about.”
This semester, SGA has many new ideas to improve the NW campus. They are currently discussing the possibility of widening the sidewalk to and from the cafeteria and have brought the idea to maintenance.
The committee is also planning a campus event called the “Red Raider Cup.” This event would involve the entire campus attending different activities around NW. Points would be awarded and dorm wings would work together to gain different prizes.
In the past, SGA has done a lot of small things that have helped benefit students living on and off campus. Last semester SGA sold t-shirts on the campus green to raise money for campus groups and new facilities.
Much of their work is done behind the scenes of NW, since a majority of it involves listening and discussing different ideas presented by students. SGA also works a lot with Ned Price, who is in charge of most of the food distributed from the cafeteria and Hub, to discuss what students think about campus dining.
More recently SGA has worked with Julie Elliott, Dean of Student Life, to extend open dorm hours, hang coat hooks up in the cafeteria lobby and put a new drinking fountain in the library.
Although the students contribute a lot to campus ideas, Elliott has the final say. SGA strongly encourages anyone on campus to get involved in asking questions and voicing their ideas to any representative. Students are encouraged to get involved in planning activities alongside SGA members.
As a public relations major, Van Horn enjoys planning and coordinating diverse campus activities and meetings. Van Horn doesn’t mind working with many different people at one time and enjoys staying organized.
“My favorite thing is when plans start to take off,” Van Horn said. “I get very happy.”
The most challenging thing for Van Horn is making sure everyone is on the same page and making an idea become a reality. Many people need to be involved to carry out various ideas for campus improvement. Van Horn always has to know who she needs to contact about different ideas.
Van Horn first had the idea of being student body president when she came for orientation her freshman year. They listened to a speech given by the current president that year, Taylor Hoekstra.
“It’s a pretty cheesy story,” Van Horn said. “But I knew I wanted to be involved in campus leadership, meeting new people, thinking of new ideas, trying to improve things.”