Campus Council (CC) and the Student Government Association (SGA) held a joint discussion meeting this past weekend designed to build connections and collaboration efforts between the two groups in the coming year. At large Campus Council representative Jordan Griffith ’19 said, “The current relationship is non-existent beyond small efforts from individual representatives.” However, he believes that by recognizing the advocacy strengths of SGA and the policy influence of Campus Council, the two collaborate constructively and will avoid, as he put it, “working against each other.” SGA Senator-at-Large, Reagan Kazyak ’19 suggested SGA President Margaret Sestito ’18 is committed to developing this collaborative relationship in the future.
During the joint discussion meeting representatives in attendance were split up into three committees focusing on social life, leadership and Greek Life. Campus Council International Diversity representative, Marina Adams ’19 emphasized that Greek Life was a major topic of conversation and debate. Adams explained that students have voiced their confusion about suspensions and treatment of Greek Life in the last year. She said, “Clarifying policy is just a starting point.” Griffith hopes that “redefining Greek Life” will become a major focus in student advocacy as SGA and Campus Council seek clarification around issues associated with Greek groups. He explained, “This would involve Greek organizations expressing what they believe their purpose is, what they add to the campus, and what they’re doing to reach out.” Kazyak explained that while processing issues related to Greek Life has been a “slow process,” better communication between student advocacy and policy bodies will aid representative efficiency in the future.
In addition to the focus on Greek Life, Adams articulated concerns surrounding interest in student representative functions. She explained, “We have a clear gap between events that are happening and what students actually go to. Working on closing that gap, on identifying what events bring people in and what do they have in common is a must.” She hopes that the new body of student representatives can help to encourage more student involvement in SGA and Campus Council programing. Griffith highlighted that “students should know that the student representatives are in this position to serve the student body, so hold them accountable and bring up your issues to the reps.”
Representatives from both groups emphasized room for growth within their collaborative partnership. Kazyak, Adams and Griffith all agreed that current levels of communication have been largely non-existent and that this has worked against the interest of the student body. Griffith explained, “In the future, I think we can more effectively influence change on campus by attacking issues on both a policy and on an advocacy front.”