By Madison Thompson —

U of L’s Student Government Association is an integral and integrated part of university life. The officers act as the primary advocate and voice of the student body.

SGA is not only the voice for students but also function to organize university-wide events.

“Examples are the major events that are held via SAB, ELSB, Student Councils, as well as ones that are funded via our Club Programming Committee (which) include SOUL, MLK Day of Service, homecoming, Speed Expo, A&S Art Fair and the Graduate Research Fair,” Vishnu Tirumala, SGA president, said.

These events are community building activities for students, faculty and staff. They assist in bringing the U of L community together through student participation.

Two popular events which are partially funded by SGA include Greek Week and raiseRED. The events strive to involve students through Greek life, dancing and raising money for charity.

The SGA is also useful to students because of their involvement with university matters. The officers also work with on-campus safety, sustainable campus options, student retention and participation in the presidential search.

Safety on campus is a continuing concern. Between the shootings at the Arch and the recent crime recap, safety is being addressed by the SGA with improved lighting and a reformed escort system.

Candidates applying to be future officers will continue to face challenges.

The student body needs strong leadership to be their voice on the board of trustees and with the new president. Future candidates must recognize what was done by previous SGA administrations and endeavor to do the same.

“I hope the candidates try to think about growth for the university particularly in attracting new students and retaining the ones we have. They will potentially be working with a new president, provost, [chief financial officer] and [athletic director]. They will need to consider what priorities are most important for students,” Tirumala said.

As the candidates prepare for campaigning and the election, they need to keep in mind they represent the students as a whole.

Photo by Arry Schofield / The Louisville Cardinal