DeLoma not looking in the right aspects of SGA

By on February 26, 2004

In a recent Chronicle publication, James DeLoma, Opinions and Editorial Editor, attempted to paint a picture of your Student Government Association as an apathetic organization from which the school has benefited little.

I applaud James for taking action and directly stating his sentiments on SGA. It is my sincere belief that the best way to improve anything is to acknowledge the positive aspects while realizing areas that necessitate improvement.

DeLoma addresses the latter, but, unfortunately neglects any mention of the former, which he is clearly aware of since he has “attended most, if not all, of the SGA meetings” for the current academic year.

A brief glance at each cabinet’s agenda would reveal the vast array of improvements being made. For example, the senior class has been working to improve shuttle transit and has explored ways to extend a shuttle service to aid off-campus students living in Avalon; the Junior class cabinet has begun working in coordination with TREE and the Public Health Committee to make Quinnipiac a more environmentally friendly campus;

The sophomore class cabinet has committed to regular meetings with the Office of Residential Life and Student Affairs in order to find ways to make the current housing lottery system as equitable as possible; and the freshman have taken on the ambitious task of compiling a “Freshman Survival 101 Handbook” so that, as Kat Swift, Vice president of the freshman class explained, “next year’s incoming class will have information about the health center, athletics, intramurals, freshman housing and what to bring to college.”

Outside of cabinet affairs, the Student Government Association as a whole, headed by Executive Board President Melissa Dudra, has been working hard to welcome and promote Quinnipiac’s most recent large, fuzzy, fictional character- our very own Quinnipiac Bobcat mascot. The results of these efforts are evident in this year’s Midnight Madness which drew the largest crowd in school history as well as the pleasant face lift the new “Bobcat Den” has received.

One of the more recent changes that is nearing fruition stems from a committee, which myself and twelve other student government members, freshmen through seniors, took part in, called the Academic Credit Ad Hoc.

Its purpose was to reexamine the number of credit hours allotted to each student per semester through graduation and found that most students, particularly Health Science majors, are forced to overload classes regularly.

So this Committee under the leadership of Sara Fisher, Sophomore representative, researched credit systems of colleges and universities that compare to Quinnipiac and found that allowing the option of a complimentary additional course for deserving students was not uncommon.

Thus, with the information gathered, the ad hoc submitted a proposal that gained the full support of the Student Government and has since moved on and is expected to be recognized by the faculty senate and other critical members of the administration in the near future. If accepted, this proposal has potential to save undergraduate students the cost of an extra course- $1500.

I acknowledge that the Student Government does have weaknesses. To pave the way for improvement and to ensure the full benefit of students, I propose a challenge, be more active. Tomorrow when you walk to the cafeteria and you are not walking but sliding because dorm road is a sheet of ice- let it be known.

Tell a member of student government, submit a campus issue online or better yet come to a meeting at 4:15 on Wednesdays and address the members of student government yourself. Student Government’s division of Student Concerns, headed by Dennis Kysik, has an amazing success rate of turning campus issues into campus solutions. If you are a member of a campus organization and want to know where the $500,000 that Student Government allocates each year, attend a finance committee meeting and be welcomed by the warm smile of Finance VP Kristen Vidile.

Take part in one of her weekly meetings which are open to the whole student body. It is important that you know how special appeals work and understand that there is no special appeals budget, as DeLoma suggested in his previous article, but rather that it is tabulated on a monthly basis. If finance is not your boat, but you know of a great event or speaker that you would like to have brought to campus, get in touch with Lianna Hartford, Student Programming Board (SPB) VP, and join in on the weekly SPB meetings to help plan campus events, including the glorious May Weekend.

Student Government’s primary mission statement is to better your life as a member of the Quinnipiac community. I cannot stress enough the importance of you, the student body, to be vocal about any concerns, issues, problems that you want to be changed. Be more assertive than just talking back and forth with a roommate about an issue. This Student Government has the power to implement your desired changes so long as you have the power to help bring them to the surface.


About Michael Radparvar