Student Government Association: The Quick and Dirty
I feel that it’s very fitting that I write my first post of the 2014-15 school year about the UW-Stevens Point Student Government Association, since it’s probably the only thing I seem like I care about. In all fairness, I did become a student blogger in great part to share what I experience in SGA. Part of the reason I take this task upon myself is that the College of Professional Studies is kiiiiiind of underrepresented in SGA. Which is bad! Student Government Association exists to represent the diverse student body of UWSP, and it can’t really do that without a variety of members. There are meant to be senators from each of the four colleges at UWSP, and the caucus for the CPS is less than halfway full at this point.
So this is the part where I urge you once again to join SGA. Because if you’re interested in student issues, or where $14 million in student money goes every year, or what’s happening on campus, it is the place for you to be at! There are committees and initiatives for all interests, and the people there are a riot.
SGA is structured kiiiind of alllllmost like the US government. There are three branches—the judicial, the executive, and the legislative. SGA’s judicial branch has justices and a chief justice and it oversees student org conduct cases and conducts SGA elections. The executive branch contains all of our student directors, our president, and our vice president. Student Senate, which I oversee as the Speaker of the Senate, is the legislative body. We write, consider, and approve legislation. At the weekly Senate meeting, speakers from all levels of the university come before the body with messages about events, initiatives, issues, and other news on and around campus. We deliberate over topics that have a very visible effect on life at UWSP (like the Health and Wellness Center proposal last year, or the Tobacco-Free Campus policy). Through the Segregated University Fee Allocation Committee, SGA also has oversight of the allocation of $14 million per year which comes to us in the form of the student segregated fees each UWSP student pays with their tuition (around $650 per student per semester).
Each student director chairs a committee revolving around a different content area. We have committees like Inclusivity, Student Life and Academic Affairs, and the University Centers Policy and Advisory Board. The SUFAC which allocates alllll that money is one of ours, and so is a Legislative Affairs committee which is currently involved with the Get Out the Vote campaign for voter registration on campus. Our Student Health Advisory Committee hosts the Zombie Run each year, and the list goes on. These are a lot of passionate students doing important things for UWSP’s campus, and a part of their success to this end is finding passionate students to work with. You should be one of those students.
If you are interested in campus issues, if you are interested in where student money is allocated, or if you are interested in governance or student involvement in general, you should check out SGA. We have an office in the DUC basement (052) which is just across from SIEO. There are a lot of ways to get involved with SGA depending on your interests and the amount of time you’d like to devote to it weekly. From 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Monday-Friday the office is staffed, largely by students—and all of them are passionate about their positions there.
Amy Vida is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in family & consumer sciences and English.