SGA president reflects on past year; sets new goals
May 2, 2016
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Slippery Rock Student Government Association swore in new executive officers for the 2016-17 academic year April 25, but not without first taking time to thank the current assembly and to celebrate the year's major accomplishments.
"We've had a very active and successful year," said Logan Steigerwalt, the past and current SGA president, adding that the group's biggest takeaways from the 2015-2016 academic year were the strides made in constituency awareness, communication, services and outreach.
"A big benefit was having a full senate this year," said Steigerwalt. "That allowed us to have full representation from all student groups and provided the SGA with a more complete picture of what the students wants and needs were.
"I think it's safe to say that we, as a whole, feel that one of our biggest accomplishments was making sure that the students felt that their voices were being heard and that if they have concerns, they should make them known to us and we'll work with University administration to see what can be done."
To that end, the SGA conducted a pair of surveys - a commuter student survey and a student life survey - to collect the thoughts and feelings of those groups on a variety of topics including parking, food options and communications among others.
"We're doing our best to give the students what they want," said Steigerwalt. "If there is something they like, we'll do our best to continue providing it, and if there is something they don't want or like, we'll look at doing something that will provide a greater benefit to them instead."
Steigerwalt said that to foster better and more open lines of communication with fellow students, the SGA would look to engage its constituencies through a wider variety of open forums and outreach events next year.
"We want to be more engaging as an entity," said Steigerwalt. "It's beneficial for everyone to be on the same page and in order to do that, we, as the SGA, have to know what's on the minds of the students so that we can help pass that along to the administration. It's all about helping everyone - students and administration - come together through better communication."
Steigerwalt pointed to a pair of SGA sponsored events - Suite Thanksgiving and Student Safety Week - that he felt were beneficial in both fostering collaboration and providing service among and to SRU students.
"The Thanksgiving event was important because is helped bridge the gap between the many student organizations that are housed in the Suite," said Steigerwalt. "It brought all the clubs and organizations together to not only share a meal, but ideas. It allowed everyone to get to know each other better and saw many groups collaborate on a variety of events during the rest of the year."
Steigerwalt added that the March "Student Safety Week" event - which included active shooter, self-defense and stalking prevention training sessions - was well attended and will again be presented next year.
"That type of programming is a real service and benefit to our students," he said. "It's important to be well educated on those kind of topics not just for yourself, but for the benefit of everyone on campus."
Steigerwalt said that SGA's new executive board, composed of Abby Fugh, a sophomore business management major from Butler and vice president for student and academic affairs; Brian Welsh, a junior political science major from Sarver and vice president of financial affairs; Sarah Arpino, a junior public relations major from Altoona and vice president of internal affairs; and Sammy Hovis, a sophomore communications-integrated marketing major and vice president of campus outreach, will be in constant contact throughout the summer months working on SGA's 2016-2017 academic year agenda.
Part of that agenda will include plans for hosting the 2016 Board of Student Governor Presidents Leadership Conference Oct. 14-16. The conference includes student government representation from all 14 schools in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, providing an opportunity for the student leaders to share ideas as well as hear from a variety of keynote speakers.
Steigerwalt is looking forward to the challenges of his second term as SGA president. "I'm very excited because now we'll be able to hit the ground running in the fall since there won't be a transition period due to an administration change over.
"Even though school is out of session soon, we'll still be working hard to have things in place and ready for the fall."
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