SGA moves to increase student involvement

Student government looking to re-brand with a larger presence on campus

Brenna Hill, president of Trinity’s Student Government Association, discussed the goals of Trinity Improvement Week and some of the events that will take place as part of the initiative.

“Basically we envision it to be a week long campaign to gather input and ideas on student issues and concerns,” Hill said. “We wanted students to have the opportunity to meet their senators because, right now, a lot of students don’t know who their class senators are, so they don’t know who to turn to if they have a concern. So we’re trying to improve that. For example, today [this past Monday] we have a s’mores event on Murchison lawn that is just an informal meet-and-greet for first years and sophomores to try and get to know their senators. That way senators can mingle with students, and students can voice their concerns if they have any.”

Hill then related that SGA has been partnering with other student organizations in order to increase its involvement on campus.

“We also did a lot of co-sponsoring with other organizations on campus. For instance, TDC was already hosting a diversity dialogue this week, so we jumped in on that. And that’s all about breaking down barriers for women in STEM fields, so we thought that’s a perfect issue for Trinity. And then SPB was sponsoring a movie night so we joined in and made it “The Campaign” since that’s kind of related to SGA. So we’re trying to do some co-sponsorships so that SGA can get involved with other student organizations as well,” Hill said.

Hill continued to discuss the new liaison program between SGA and the administration.

“Our two main goals this year have been to improve relationships with students and also to improve relationships with administrators. So that’s the purpose of the liaison program,” Hill said. “Each senator was assigned to be a liaison with a member of either the Res Life staff of the executive staff, meaning a Trinity vice-president. Each senator has a specific administrator that they are responsible for meeting with throughout the semester. In the future, we envision this to be something where, if a student had a specific concern about finance, for example, they could find the senator that is a liaison with that specific vice president. Then in their next meeting with the vice president, that senator could relay the students concerns. It’s a way for students to have a voice to the administration.”

When asked about why SGA is implementing so many new programs this semester, Hill revealed that SGA is working to change its image.

“We’re trying to re-brand. I think we’ve definitely done that this year. We’re trying to have a bigger presence and let students know where they’re supposed to go and who they’re supposed to go to if they have a concern. That’s kind of been our primary goal with these events.”

Zeina Zayat, a sophomore, supports SGA’s move to increase student involvement.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Zayat said. “I like how they have the white boards now to help get more student involvement without having people need to actually go to a senate meeting because that can be a bit daunting with all the elected officials. I think it’s  a great initiative.”

Hill then elaborated on some of SGA’s goals for the remainder of the year.

“I think we’re in a really good place right now with our new liaison program and our events to engage students. We’re also holding a forum on sexual assault later on in April for sexual assault awareness month. I think just kind of staying on top of issues… such as racial climate maintain Trinity as a diverse and inclusive environment. We want to learn more about these issues before they occur. We want to have forums and do things like that [where] students can talk about these issues before they come big problems,” Hill said.

Zayat continued to say that she approves of her senators’ work within SGA.

“I think our senators are doing a great job. I know Alex Perkowski definitely has my interests in mind and all of our senators are definitely very personable people,” Zayat said. “I’d say the majority of my class knows our senators or at least one of them, so I think we all have access to them when we have a concern.”