Q&A with SGA President Matthew Lerman

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Published October 5, 2016
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The Montclarion
SGA President Matthew Lerman tries to improve the SGA and make students more aware of everything the SGA does. Photo credit: Daniel Falkenheim

 

SGA President Matthew Lerman tries to improve the SGA and make students more aware of everything the SGA does. Photo credit: Daniel Falkenheim

SGA President Matthew Lerman tries to improve the SGA and make students more aware of everything the SGA does.
Photo credit: Daniel Falkenheim

Q: What is your job as the Student Government Association (SGA) president?

Lerman: “I wasn’t put in this role to have a title. I was put in this role to help the students I call my peers. I took it upon myself to be the voice for all students, where as the three other executive board members focus a lot more on the organizations. I have the opportunity to speak to all different professional staff and faculty on behalf of the students. Any issue that’s brought to me, I take it as my own personal responsibility to deal with those issues.”

Q: What do you want students to know about the SGA?

Lerman: “The SGA is here for all undergraduate students at Montclair State University. We are here to help you. Not only do we offer 124 organizations, but we also have things like SLAM, our SGA Media Team, as well as the yearbook staff. We have multiple other opportunities if you’re not looking for a club or an organization to get involved.”

Q: What’s the SGA’s biggest goal for 2016-2017?

Lerman: “The one thing that we ran on was creating opportunities to reach everyone. It wasn’t just a campaign thing, it’s something that we actually want. We want to be able to get students from all around campus to come and see what this SGA has to offer. We’re the SGA and we have those organizations, but we’re also the representatives of the entire university of the undergraduate students.”

Q: What does the SGA do for students?

Lerman: “The most important thing, to me, is that the SGA is the voice of the students. One thing that’s very important that we’re trying to utilize this semester is our monthly meetings with Dr. Cole. We’ve brought up multiple, big issues to Dr. Cole. We brought up different issues that we wanted to put on her radar.”

Q: What is an example of one of the issues that you have brought up?

Lerman: “One of the biggest issues that we have talked about is getting a new ambulance for the university. Over the summer, one of the ambulances went out of commission. Now we’re down to one ambulance. After talking to the students that are involved in EMS, they said they can’t function with only one ambulance because they have to be at all of these different events that they go to, as well having an ambulance on call for any student. We have been able to work with Dr. Cole and Dr. Pennington to put in a request to the Board of Trustees to get a new ambulance. We’re looking within the next few months to get a new ambulance for the school.”

Q: What areas of the SGA could be improved?

Lerman: “We’re trying to completely restructure the [SGA Media Team] to make the communication better. We’re trying to restructure SGA media like SLAM is structured, where they have a general body membership. That way, students don’t have to put in 10 hours a week to be committed to this. They could put in an hour or two and say, ‘hey I want to film an event’ or ‘hey I want to take pictures of an event,’ or even just sit in the office and control our social media for an hour. It’ll give students an opportunity to make an impact, where as it’s just been an executive branch in the past.”

Q: What do you want your SGA legacy to be?

Lerman: “The legacy I want to leave for my e-board that the SGA is known – that it’s not just here to approve or deny bills for organizations, but we’re here to represent all students. And, I want next year’s e-board, whoever it may be, to look at this year’s e-board and say, we want to do better, we want to live up to their expectations. ”

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