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Thursday, January 15, 2004
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Mending fences, reaching out
SGA strives to gain students’ interest


By Matt Turner
Staff Reporter


Student Government Association officers hope to regain the trust of the student body by increasing communication with students, officers said.

SGA will debut a professionally designed Web site, distribute a bi-monthly newsletter and send campus-wide e-mails to students this semester, officers said.

One goal of SGA is to make the House more accessible to students by being proactive leaders, an effort Secretary Corrie Lockhart said she believes will help regain the student’s trust after election difficulties last semester. The election code is currently being revised to avoid future problems and student assistance with the revision is welcome, officers said.

President Jay Zeidman said the best way to reconcile with students is to pass visible legislation and to increase communication with them.

House Vice President Megan Brown said she believes the election did not
have much effect on the relationship between SGA and students because there was not a strong relationship to begin with.

To build communication, officers hope to have a template for the new Web site in a month. Students will be able to view information ranging from advising schedules to dining menus, Zeidman said.

A newsletter will be distributed in mailboxes and bins around campus every two months and house calls to organizations will show what SGA can offer them, Lockhart said.

Zeidman said he plans to send campus-wide e-mails to students and meet personally with the heads of organizations to let them know SGA is there for them.

“We have the staff, we have the resources, we have the facilities, we have the funds. Let’s use them.” he said.

Treasurer David Watson said the House has a fund for special projects and a fund for conferences and conventions that student organizations are eligible for, and if organizations get the support of a representative, it can be voted on.

The new officers discussed goals and talked to student organizations on the Campus Life retreat last weekend at the Wyndham Hotel in Arlington. The new officers have shown a great deal of cohesiveness and are excited about what they can accomplish, Lockhart said.

The officers said they will focus on academic advising, the off-campus use of meal cards and a new student center.

Zeidman said he wants to utilize Intercom, a group of 15 presidents from different campus organizations, to take the three major proposals directly to the Board of Trustees this semester.

Soon, students can expect to receive personal invitations to House meetings, which are always open forums, Lockhart said. Meetings will be 5 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 27, in Student Center Room 222.

Zeidman said he believes it is important for SGA to be visible and establish their identity as an organization that represents everyone.