The semester may only have started three weeks ago, but the Student Government Association (SGA) has quickly gone to work with their attempt to reimagine, rebrand and reinvent their role at Montclair State University.
SGA President Serafina Genise spent much of the summer meeting with people in various departments on campus to establish relationships that previous SGA executive boards neglected.
“A lot of departments didn’t have such a great relationship with us because of [the] administration’s past,” Genise said. “So I spent a lot of summer running around, meeting new people, meeting a lot of new faces of those departments and building those relationships.”
Other members of the executive board also spent the summer rebuilding the organization, such as Secretary Jillian Royal, who spent the summer stepping up the SGA’s social media presence. Royal has been posting announcements about the SGA on Twitter and Instagram and has been encouraging students to follow the organization on social media.
Treasurer Heather Francis joined the SGA with a desire to increase the organization’s transparency. She spent much of the summer working on ways for students to have easier access to information. As a result, the SGA spending records will be accessible online.
Vice President Emma Rush also supported the transparency initiative by creating electronic records for all 66 student organizations affiliated with the SGA. Information Rush made available for the organizations included their charters, constitutions, live-updated versions of their budgets and more.
Francis also created a new process for student organizations to request funding for events directly through the treasurer’s office, cutting back on the time and steps it took for organizations to receive money for events.
The SGA also established two new committees, a senior trip committee open to any seniors interested in planning the end of the year senior trip. They also created the SGA Gives Back committee, a philanthropic committee the SGA will use to donate money to certain causes, which is open to all students. Both the senior trip and donations used are to be determined by the executive branch of the SGA.
Along with the work done over the summer, the executive board has been establishing programs and events happening in the future. Royal is organizing a grand opening for a space the SGA recently attained, room 110, which she referred to as the Student Organization Resource Center.
Royal is also planning a SGA alumni dinner at the end of the fall semester as well as working with Ebony Jackson from the Office for Social Justice and Diversity to organize a week of events during the spring semester focused around supporting victims of sexual violence.
The SGA will be getting a new lawyer and they will be providing more scholarships for students. Rush explained that while the SGA has provided a generous amount of money for students during the fall semesters, scholarships were not offered for the spring semester. The new scholarships will also be available to working students.
Along with holding many events, this semester the SGA intends to update their constitution. The SGA will hold a congress open to all students to determine which policies need to be included in the new constitution. There is not an exact date for the congress, but Rush said it will take place during the first two weeks of November.