Colorado College Student Government Association is making changes, both within the organization and around campus; however, this doesn’t mean that they won’t continue to do the advocacy work they’ve been responsible for in the past.
“Everything the student government does is to serve the student body,” said Jake Walden, CC Senior and Student Body President of CCSGA.
With a team of 20 people (not all elected yet) and a committee for student concerns, CCSGA tries to make itself as accessible and effective as possible. All meetings are open to the public to facilitate a dialogue with concerned students as well.
“In many ways [the purpose of] student government is trying to act as an intermediary,” said Walden. “We can bring [certain issues] forward to the administration and say students really support this or they don’t support this, etc.”
That being said, Walden and others within the organization feel that there’s more the CCSGA can do to improve its function serving the public. One of the ways they are hoping to do so is providing more education for its own members, including taking the student government members on retreats.
“Those are really important,” said Walden. “This is a learning opportunity for students to know if [they] want to be in governance… and to understand politics and civics on a national scale and on a local scale.”
CCSGA is also hoping to expand itself beyond the CC bubble in a variety of ways.
One of these is setting up a polling station to vote on campus for the student body.
Another is to promote campus-wide discussions on important issues, especially with the presidential election coming up in 2016.
“We want to promote discussions and work on educating students,” said Hannah Willstein ‘16, the Vice President of Internal Affairs. “Give them the tools to educate themselves so that they can have opinions going into the election.”
Another large platform for improvement is the Student Government’s involvement in social media, which was lacking last year. They have a Facebook, an Instagram (@coloradocollegesga), a Twitter (@ccstudentgov), and are looking into getting a corporate Snapchat. The hope is with more students tuning into the CCSGA through social media, the group’s general presence will be more easily seen and felt.
“I think in the past a lot of people have viewed CCSGA as this kind of group that meets, but no one really knows what they do,” said Willstein. “We want to make CCSGA more accessible so students understand what we do and also have a more active role in [our] programming.”
There will also be some changes in the budget this year. Following Andrea More’s article “Oy ve CCSGA,” published last spring in the Cipher, CCSGA was criticized for a lack of oversight on their budget. It came to light that CCSGA had appropriated “discretionary funds” for some executive members to use on projects. However, the discretionary funds, once approved could be used without explicit permission by the rest of the council.
“There are no discretionary funds,” said Walden. “Student Government has a budget, and it’s approved in the same process that every other student group goes through.”
With new policies implemented and new ideas on their minds, CCSGA is ready to take on the new school year.