Ball State’s Student Government Association (SGA) met in Room 175 of the Art and Journalism Building Sept. 15 to participate in a student senate retreat, where they participated in a “blitz” — going outside and seeking student perspectives on what they want fixed at the university.
The retreat began with a presentation by five representatives from Indiana’s General Assembly. The group, which included Ball State alumni, discussed the career benefits of pursuing an internship in Indiana’s state government.
With representatives from both sides of the political aisle, the group noted cooperation between Democrats and Republicans at the state level. The group closed its presentation by urging students to apply for an internship in the Indiana Statehouse.
Senators then listened to presentations educating new SGA members on the functions and intricacies of student government. Parliamentarian Chase Braden and President Pro Tempore Davis Odom lead a presentation on parliamentary procedures, including the different types of legislation.
To end the meeting, SGA’s first “blitz” since the COVID-19 pandemic began aimed to get student feedback on campus operations and brainstorm ways the senate could help.
“[Students are] noticing these things from being gone,” Odom said. “I think they’re speaking out more than maybe they would have in the past.”
Breaking into groups of four or five, senators asked students their complaints about campus and came back to the senate meeting to share what they learned.
Among the grievances shared were some students wanting a second blue loop for off-campus transportation, and a way to view Muncie Indiana Transit System bus routes and Ball State transportation routes in one shared place. Others complained about dining halls closing too early and a lack of parking spaces on campus.
At the end of the retreat, Odom emphasized the value of noting the opinions of the student body.
“We're nothing without the students,” he said. “We're here to serve them and what they want done, we'll try our best to get done.”