What is Student Government Association (SGA), and what do they do for Northwestern? Well, did you enjoy donuts at chapel, or do you want your voice and ideas heard by faculty? If so, you have the SGA to thank for that.
Being able to hear from everyone on campus about what they want to see on campus is difficult. Talking with every student at Northwestern would be too time-consuming and too much information. One of SGA’s goals are to create a bridge of communication and promote a good relation between the student body and administration, faculty and staff. Other goals are to provide a voice for students interests on those faculty standing committees that have student members, and to support the Christian academic mission and purpose of NW.
Since the duty of the SGA is so significant, the structure of the committee is complex. SGA consists of sixteen undergraduate students, a staff advisor and a faculty advisor and is broken down into six groups. Officers consist of the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. SGA class representatives consist of a person from each undergraduate class. Faculty standing committee representatives consist of an academic affairs committee representative. Food service representative who is voted on by the entire study body, has voting powers on Student Government, and the official liaison to the food service provider from SGA. Student government at-large representatives consist of three positions that are open to the entire student body with no specific constituency. The final group is faculty/staff advisors which are the dean of student development or assigned student development staff and two faculty advisors.
SGA meets every week and meets with their subcommittees biweekly for around twenty minutes. Some different subcommittees are events, grounds and sustainability.
A typical meeting starts off with the president opening with announcements and the agenda for the night. Then they discuss projects and events that they have been working on and new ideas that are brought forward.
Even though being on SGA means you have more responsibility, there can still be moments of fun. Being involved with SGA allows you to meet new people and create memories like going to Blue Bunny in Le Mars, Iowa. Freshman representative and the chair for event subcommittee, Leah Schaefar, shared her favorite memory. “with SGA has been going to Blue Bunny in Le Mars for our last meeting before Christmas break,” Schaefer said. “We did get work done while we were there, but we also got to know each other better outside of the room where we meet in Ramaker. Another good memory was being back together after Christmas break and hearing about everyone’s breaks and just catching up!”
Everyone has their own reason for choosing to run for Student Government. Some reasons are being able to build connections with other students and staff and serve to make positive change across the campus. “I decided to become a part of NW’s Student Government Association because of my background in leadership and passion for serving those around me,” SGA member Alyssa Geetings said. “As At-Large Representative, I work to represent all students well and demonstrate God’s love through my actions.”
Being part of Student Government takes a certain level of responsibility but is greatly rewarded by being a servant leader and making positive changes to such an incredible campus.