By Petra Stark–
Many U of L students are problem solvers, looking to solve issues that they see in their daily lives while on campus, but aren’t sure where to start. The Student Government Association wants to fix this through their first SGA Week, during which they hosted a series of town halls to explain to interested students how they can get involved and make an impact.
The town hall on Tuesday introduced students to the senate, the legislative body of SGA. SGA’s senate is a group of student representatives from all of U of L’s colleges, with each college having a number of representatives relative to that college’s population of students. Because of this, the College of Arts and Sciences has the largest number of representatives by a wide margin.
The senate’s goal is to pass resolutions along to U of L’s administration, notifying them of student concerns, along with possible solutions to those concerns.
These resolutions can be written by any student looking to have an impact on campus, not just senate representatives. In the event a student not in the senate writes a resolution, they would simply need to get any representative to sponsor it, not necessarily one from their same college.
This offers students an accessible way to make the changes they want to see around campus. After a resolution is written, the Senate will hold a vote on it. If the resolution passes it is handed down to SGA executives, who would bring the resolution to U of L administration to see how the resolution could be integrated into campus.
The rest of the town hall involved a student panel, asking them questions regarding what inspired them to get involved, and what avenues would current SGA senate representatives recommend for students looking to get involved.
The panel expressed a variety of opinions on ways students could get involved, such as helping with preexisting committees with connections to SGA, such as the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the First-Year Mentorship Committee.
Alternatively, students can reach out to current representatives and work to write their own resolutions, which the panel explained was one of the best ways to get a foot in the door. This would allow a student to campaign with the resolution under their belt.
“You could write a resolution, then during the campaign, you could say, ‘I’ve already written this resolution, so if you want to see more changes like this one, be sure to vote for me!’” explained one of the representatives on the panel.
Members of the panel also gave some insight into some of the changes they are currently working on or would like to see considered by the Senate more broadly.
Such initiatives included more resources, and better awareness of preexisting resources, for survivors of sexual assault; improved funding for RSOs outside of event funding, since many organizations have to pay for resources out of pocket; resolving on-campus issues such as textbook pricing/availability and food insecurity (currently the Cardinal Cupboard, a food pantry available to members of the U of L community, is a major part of this effort, and can be found on the third floor of the Student Activities Center); and more transparency regarding SGA, examples including town halls like the ones hosted during SGA Week, and reaching out more to students who may be interested.
Any student interested in SGA’s senate is encouraged to get involved however they can, through committees, contacting their representative to write a resolution or even just attending senate meetings, which take place every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at the School of Law in Room 275 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm. More information can be found by emailing a senate representative, or through SGA’s linktree.
File Photo// The Louisville Cardinal