I thought SGA was a joke. It’s not like they can do anything anyway?
Well, the Student Government has the potential to do a lot of things. Remember how your fees went up this year, and last year? That’s because the Texas Legislature decided decrease funding for Higher Education, but schools needed to pay the bills somehow. SGA has the potential to lobby the Texas Legislature on textbook prices, tuition, money for new buildings and an almost unlimited number of things that relate to the student body. Last year, we even had our own bill sponsored by both the Texas House and Senate regarding credit card vendors on campuses.
SGA is also a direct link between the student body and the administration. Any SGA Senator can walk into (almost) any office on campus to talk about student issues. We are fortunate to be at a campus that listens to students. Senators have an enormous capacity to help students with a variety of issues. SGA also holds seats on many university committees.
OK, so it has ‘potential’. So how do you go from ‘potential’ to actual results?
First: Recruiting More Senators. That’s been pretty successful and hopefully we’ll have a number of people join SGA as write-in candidates. For SGA to properly represent the student body, we need people from all parts of campus, fighting for the student body.
Second: Train Super-Senators. It’s one thing to have one or two people writing all the bills, talking to the administration, lobbying, and listening to students. It’s quite another thing to have a whole senate full of people doing the same.
So what makes you the big SGA expert?
Well, I’ve been in SGA for about two years and have chaired two different committees; I have been an officer, lobbied the Texas Legislature, written many of the rule-changes that are in place now, and have written more legislation, and addressed more issues than any current member o! f student government.
So why do you want to be President? I mean, can’t you do all that stuff as a Senator too?
As President, I can help teach the senate, chair the meetings, set the agenda, recruit, discuss bills the Senate passes with administrators, and help make SGA even more effective for the senators and the student body. While I could still do many of those things as a senator, I’d rather concentrate on improving SGA and helping more people work hard for the student body.
Christopher Whitaker is a candidate for the SGA Presidency.