Facing forward

The Student Government Association changed its leadership this summer, but its focus is still on students.

Christopher Yancy, who was elected vice president last semester, said the organization is looking to give students a louder voice on campus and address issues such as campus safety and the protection of financial aid.

“The theme for this year is let’s work together to improve together,” Yancy said. “Our vision is to be the main source that students go to whenever they have a problem.”

Michael Perkins, the new student body president, has designed several programs that will make SGA more accessible to students.

A program called “Open Mike” involves Perkins sitting in the LSC mall area each week to talk to students and hear their concerns.

“The president needs to be among the students more or you lose touch with them,” he said.

Yancy said the organization with continue to hold Beefs for Griefs and offer its BearFacts form, which give students the opportunity to express questions or concerns about the university. He also said SGA is working with Channel 7 this year to broadcast its weekly meetings.

In addition to being more accessible to students, Perkins said SGA would like to keep relationships with Sam Houston State University alumni and James Gaertner, university president.

He would also like to see students of different ethnic backgrounds working more closely together.

“We have a lot of ethnic groups and organizations that are divided,” he said. “As president, I will call together a council of them and try to see if they can work together and have more unity on campus.”

According to Yancy, SGA has made campus safety -including the university notification system – a priority.

“We want to ensure student safety throughout campus by working with the administration to enhance emergency policies and protocol,” he said.

SGA will also work with other organizations to foster school spirit during athletic games and Homecoming.

“We want to work with student activities, program council and the department of athletics to enhance our university attendance at athletic events,” Yancy said.

SGA hopes to sponsor pep rallies and pre-football game marches to Bowers Stadium, he said. SGA is also responsible for organizing the Homecoming candidates.

Making the campus more environmentally friendly is another priority. Perkins said SGA looks to make the campus greener by enhancing recycling programs and working with the administration to invest in solar power technology.

Yancy said SGA will tackle state issues such as tax-free textbooks with the Texas Student Association, a consortium of 35 Texas public universities. SGA also hopes to secure Texas grants and financial aid for SHSU students and more funding for the college.

“Since 2009 is a legislation year, we plan to work closely with the legislators in Austin and our local representatives to close the gaps in higher education,” Yancy said.

SGA will hold meetings every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Lowman Student Center room 315. Even though elections were held last semester, students can still become senators by attending two general assembly meetings and two committee meetings.

Yancy said some of the key benefits of membership are getting to know the university administration and representing SHSU at the state capitol.

For more information, visit SGA’s Web site at http://www.shsu.edu/~org_sga/, email the organization at org_sga@shsu.edu, call (936) 294-1938 or visit the SGA office in LSC room 326.

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