By Tate Luckey —
Among the various organizations and clubs here at the University of Louisville, arguably the most important is the Student Government Association. As stated in their preamble, the SGA serves to be a voice for fellow students on campus and the commonwealth. They are composed of an executive, legislative and judicial branch, as well as having ties to the Student Activities and Engage Lead Serve Board.
Elections are next month, and with that, campaigns may begin as early as next week, but for an uninformed student, how can they get involved?
“I’d recommend starting with something small at first like engaging with current student leadership,” Ben Barberie, SGA’s academic vice president, said. “I learned about SGA my freshman year through older friends who served in student government.”
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately get a position, though. Barberie lost his freshman campaign, and current SGA President Sabrina Collins used to be in the Student Senate before her rise.
Most members agree that wherever they end up elected, the ability to be a visionary makes it all worthwhile.
“My favorite part of SGA is meeting other driven leaders who are passionate about making U of L a better place for students,” Collins said. She and the current SGA administration are undertaking the 2025 Strategic Development Plan, an initiative dedicated to making a difference for the student body. The 17-page document details the 5 key categories for student success that each administration should work toward improving.
“I love the feeling of hope and optimism that comes with my work and the work of others around me,” Barberie said. “Sometimes the results don’t yield in weeks or even months, but it’s refreshing to think that the impact of your work could help a student 5 or even 10 years down the line.”
The first step, however, is to campaign for a position. While it can be tough (especially this year due to COVID-19), Barberie says that if you have a good “why” behind your work, it will all be worth it.
“If you’re committed to making campus a better place, don’t lose sight of that vision – often the best policy initiatives come from a place of passion, care, and creativity,” he said.
Applications for the 2021 election close Feb. 5, with the election itself taking place on March 1-3. You can find out more about candidacy here.
Graphic by Andrew Campbell // The Louisville Cardinal