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SGA struggles to find presence, validity on campus

Associate Professor of Communication Studies Shane Semmler spoke to the Student Government Association on the legitimacy of the student


2,031 students voted in March of 2012 for President Alissa VanMeeteren and Vice President DJ Smith. Around 20 percent of USD students voted.

“The truth is that SGA meetings are experiencing a legitimacy crisis,” Semmler said. “Most of the seats go unfilled, or filled in uncontested elections.”

Semmler said most of the students who don’t participate or are interested in student government do so not because they have a bad attitude, but because SGA doesn’t reach them.

“Surveys don’t necessarily make it to everyone,” Semmler said.

Smith said the 1,000 online learners enrolled at USD may be a population SGA cannot reach.

Semmler applauded SGA on their upcoming use of town hall meetings, but suggested utilizing more surveys, providing a box in the MUC where students can drop in suggested topics for weekly meetings and using multimedia to reach a larger student population.