SGA commences with 2013-2014 session
With the strike of a gavel, Cameron University’s Student Government Association came to session for the 2013-2014 school year.
At 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 26, SGA officers, senators and representatives began a new year of legislation for Cameron University. During this assembly, members discussed prospective goals for the school year including the creation of a CUSGA#. The meeting was held in Cynthia S. Ross Hall.
SGA President Kevin Stieb, 22, said his organization was created for the students. SGA offers a service to CU students by providing an outlet for their voices to be heard. While a student may not always be able to contact a member of the school’s administration, Stieb said SGA members are only a call or tweet away from solving a problem.
“We act as a proponent for the students. We don’t just see a problem and say there is a problem here. We come up with solutions for them and try to fix them,” Stieb said. “Everything that we do in this chamber should help the student body as a whole because we act as a liaison between the students enrolled at Cameron and the administration. We are the go-between when there is a large issue that needs to be addressed.”
SGA has been instrumental in such legislation as making the university tobacco free, the construction of Cameron Village and creating new, convenient parking spaces for motorcyclists. All of these developments were raised by students and made possible by Cameron’s student government.
Stieb said there are three different ways a student can become involved in SGA. While the first involves filing and taking part in an election process, the other two include becoming a part of clubs and organizations on campus or joining the SGA Supreme Court.
“If you are in a club on campus, you can get into SGA by being representative of that club. Every organization that is officially recognized by the school is allowed to have a representative in SGA, but a lot of them don’t come. There are a lot of benefits to it. You can request up to $300 funding from us for specific activities,” Stieb said.
Stieb said that students who are not able to attend regular meetings, but who still wish to participate in the SGA, could be appointed to Supreme Court positions. The court handles matters such as traffic appeals and questions of constitutionality within the SGA.
With elections in the near future, Stieb urges students to vote for the individuals who will represent not only the student population, but also the opinions and beliefs of each student. Similar to last year’s voting, it will take place online and be sent to each student through e-mail.
“It’s very simple,” Stieb said. “An e-mail will be sent out campus wide. There will be a hyperlink for students to click. It will take you to the survey where you will enter your student I.D. and be forwarded to a page where you can vote. It only took me like two minutes.”
While SGA plans to pass many pieces of legislation this school year, one of Stieb’s major goals remains to increase participation among SGA members. Stieb said he believes the needs of clubs and organizations on campus will be well voiced if each group’s representatives partake in the weekly discussions and meetings. To ensure an atmosphere of acceptance between organizations, Stieb said he is willing to take action against representatives, even going so far as barring disrespectful members from the meetings.
“I really want the participation of people in SGA to increase. I want people to not just sit there and doodle. I want them to be involved,” he said. “If members participate more, then the people they represent will be represented more. If only three people are participating, then only three people are representing their constituents.”
SGA Vice President Hannah Smart also has high hopes and goals for her organization this year. Smart said the officers are planning on moving SGA to Twitter and Facebook by using the “hashtag.” The team hopes that by creating the CUSGA#, students will have more accessibility to their student government. Both Stieb and Smart are planning on moderating these social networks to help students find solutions to any problems they may encounter.
“My personal goals are to specifically develop this CUSGA# because we want people to feel like they have an easy access to Kevin and me,” Smart said. “We want to use it as a way people can come up with both problems and solutions. We don’t want people to use it as a place to vent about something they don’t like. We want to help people to come up with a solution.”
Both Stieb and Smart have one major goal in mind. They want to make their organization more active. At the moment, the two officers hope to pass 10 pieces of legislation to enhance the college experience for students.