The semester is now half over. People and organizations have been busy. The Student Government Association (SGA), however, seems to be taking things slower.
Recall from last year’s election the platform of now President Teagan McNary and Vice President Josh Anderson. There were three pillars: increase student involvement, build partnerships with Vermillion and promote inclusiveness.
These are all admirable goals. However, upon looking at this semester’s agendas, one begins to wonder what happened to the platform.
The beginning of the semester saw some activity: There were proposals to implement changing stations and lactation spaces on campus. Several new organizations have received funding.
Perhaps the most important product to some from SGA has been the resolution to establish a need-based scholarship.
While these are all well-intentioned ambitions which benefit the university, none of them explicitly support the original three pillars campaigned on.
In an article from the beginning of the semester, they said one of the first things they want to address is their first pillar: student involvement, which will be centered around a new program for first-year students. Anderson said the program would be modeled after something called the 60-day challenge where students can have a one-on-one experience with student organizations.
It’s a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any progress. Promoting student involvement is a worthy goal, but progress has been slow.
As for building partnerships with the Vermillion community, nothing on the agenda even comes close to this goal. If this administration really wants to leave a mark, this is one goal that should be rigorously pursued. It was a good campaign promise: now it should be fulfilled.
Finally, promoting inclusiveness has been lack-luster. The need-based scholarship is a good start, but there’s still plenty of room to grow.
SGA needs to get back to work. The three pillars campaigned on ought to be erected, not just left on the blueprint sheet. Students look to SGA to improve USD, both in large and small ways.
USD is changing in many ways this year, and SGA could and should play an integral part in ensuring student concerns are always a priority for decision makers. All SGA senators should put more effort into keeping USD a high-quality university.
So far, SGA has done a fairly good job; there’s been progress in some areas.
That being said, the SGA senate should commit to completing the campaign goals set out earlier this semester. SGA shouldn’t just be a line on a resume: members should put forth the time and energy to address their constituents’ concerns, fulfill campaign promises and improve campus life.
McNary and Anderson weren’t available for an interview before this editorial was published.