The President's Perspective: SGA versatile, provides varying services for campus

While on the campaign trail last semester, I remember how frequent the question, "What does SGA do for me?" arose.

After effortlessly repeating the same list, I realized that SGA needed to do a better job of publicizing our services. Therefore this week, I will identify and explain a few and conclude by summarizing University Senate, another governing body at Ball State.

As a student organization, SGA is responsible for reminding and educating students of their civic responsibilities. On Friday afternoon, Dr. Doug McConkey, Vice President for Student Affairs, e-mailed the entire student body to remind them of the importance of registering to vote as local elections approach on November 5.

It is a known fact that most college students ignore the significance of voting, especially in local elections where policy affects us the greatest. I encourage everyone to register to vote (http://www.bsu. edu/sa/dean/vote). Research local candidates and affect policy that will ultimately affect you.

Co-sponsorship, one of the key services provided by SGA, allows student groups to apply for money to help fund diverse programming. Co-sponsorship is designed to assist student groups, many of whom are not allotted money by the university, to plan and produce events that appeal to a wider variety of students. In the past, this service has hosted concerts, comedians, fashion shows and poetry slams. Applications must be professional and detailed, and are reviewed by your elected SGA senators.

Another service is the Typing Center, where students are charged a small fee to have papers, documents and applications quickly typed to specific formats. All typing is done by SGA receptionists by your stated deadline on a computer or typewriter. However, materials are not proofread; I'm sure your professor will.

Bus trips during campus breaks are another service offered by SGA. Students are transported from the Student Center to either Indianapolis Airport ($20), Merrillville, Ind., ($40), or Hinsdale, Ill., ($45) roundtrip during Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring breaks. Reservations are to be made two weeks before departure to ensure seating. Applications are available in the SGA office.

Last week, I summarized the "gist" of SGA without making any reference to University Senate, a governing body on campus combining all constituencies within the university: administrators, professional staff, faculty (representing all colleges on campus) and students. University Senate is comprised of over 55 senators, three councils: Professional Affairs, Academic Policies, and the Student Campus Life Council, and over twenty-five committees spanning athletics to admission.

Students are needed to serve on these committees as representatives from SGA, and are encouraged to pick up an application in the SGA office. This year, University Senate will be a focal point of SGA as this body modifies its governing structure to increase communication and efficiency and to enhance the flow of Student Senate legislation currently intercepted by University Senate.

I hope this has better informed you of what SGA can do for you if you simply seize the opportunity and the basics of University Senate. Remember, the first Student Senate meeting is today at 3:15pm in Cardinal Hall B. Stop in, observe (vent and complain to your representatives if you like) and if we interest you at all join our team!

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