With the recent Student Government Association president elections, we as a student body need to make sure that we are represented. The SGA is a crucial part of Troy University, and it does everything it can to benefit students.
Olivia Melton, our current senior SGA president from Orange Beach, considers this week’s election “bittersweet,” but looks forward to watching the new president make critical changes.
“I would like to see a better way of organizing how information is communicated to students,” Melton said. “No one uses Trojan Connection, so no one knows what is going on.”
One of the most important roles of an SGA officer is being a voice for students that may feel like they don’t have much say. “Being able to represent the students was really fun,” Melton said. “I love meeting students and talking to alumni.”
Library hours were a concern for students, and our student government was able to extend them. The rec center is going to be an exciting addition to campus, and the SGA continues to strive to better our student body by meeting our needs.
“The SGA is important because it’s a platform for students to be heard,” Melton said. “It’s a communication network and a platform for student concerns.”
Hal Fulmer, dean of undergraduate and first-year studies, says that you “can’t overstate the value of an SGA.” Fulmer is an advocate for student success and believes that the SGA is a crucial part of that process.
“Undergraduate students should expect their SGA officers to embody all the characteristics that we hopefully have in any of our elected officials,” Fulmer said. “They should expect an engaged, committed and focused SGA.”
In order for that to happen, students must vote. We are entrusting our interests with whom we elect, and as Fulmer points out, “The president, by virtue of office, sits on the Board of Trustees. That person gets to sit where a faculty person does not. We should take that very seriously.”
Jarod Lewis, a senior theater major from Carter, Kentucky, is concerned with the SGA’s actions after he was unable to vote in the 2016 election due to technical difficulties the SGA had with student registration ballots.
“Just as there are flaws in our national government, there are flaws in our student government,” Lewis said. Lewis said that the SGA has no impact on his day-to-day life, and he does not see any visual proof of anything being taken care of.
Lewis has high expectations for the new president of SGA. “It would be great if they were out supporting us. I want them to be an activist for what they are trying to do on campus,” Lewis said. “But when was the last time they went to a band concert? When was the last time they went to a theater performance?”
For those students that are not involved in Greek organizations, the events SGA puts on may not benefit us.
“If the SGA wasn’t here, besides Greek life, who does it affect?” Lewis asked. “I’m not part of social Greek, so how is it affecting me?”
Bethany Davis, a senior communication major from Brantley, supports the SGA in its endeavors to improve our school.
“The SGA has the ability to be our voice,” Davis said. “If they disappoint us and do something we don’t agree with, they have the ability to listen and make that change for us.”
She feels that “they’ve done a lot” since she has been at Troy, and “they do a lot that we don’t give them credit for.”
Davis said she would vote for the new SGA president in order to “leave a voice” for the next incoming class.
Every voice of every individual should be represented and best applied to what the SGA does in order to benefit every student at Troy University.
“They need to make you feel seen and make you feel like you matter,” Davis said about the upcoming SGA president.
In the words of Fulmer, “The students continue to be empowered simply by going and casting a ballot.”