Student Government Association is a force on campus
March 11, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
and bringing about important change, they do not support all
work and no play. The Student Activities Council offers at least
one campus-wide event, such as a Humpday Hoopla (above),
SAC's Spring Carnival is a hit with students as well as Centre
president John Roush, who joins in the fun.
Centre College students are proponents for change. From college policies about smoking to library hours to parking dilemmas, important issues are confronted head-on by students—and many of the improvements that take place every day on campus are initiated by students.
Representing the student body are the members of the Student Government Association (SGA). The group consists of an executive council made up of officers and committee chairmen; a Student Senate, which handles academic issues; and a House of Representatives, which oversees all clubs and organizations on campus.
Each class elects its SGA representatives, who serve on committees that deal with specific aspects of campus and who approve all club funding, the establishment of new organizations and other issues that affect campus life.
The SGA was as active as ever last fall. The campus improvements committee was able to have clocks installed in all classrooms on campus. They also held an open forum about parking, where members discussed the current parking issues with fellow students.
Also last fall, the student affairs committee began investigating the possible revising of Centre’s smoking policy; they continue to explore the possibility of a complete smoking ban on campus.
The Senate of SGA has also had a busy year.
Working with Dean Keith Dunn, president of the Senate Scott Meltzer ’10 has been discussing the possible creation a new academic-dishonesty policy.
“In October, the Student Government Association passed a Senate resolution requesting that faculty create a formal procedure for student reporting of academic dishonesty,” SGA member Rachel Kelly ’10 says. “If there’s a concern, the professor fills out a report summarizing the incident and sends it to the Associate Dean. Two student reports of academic dishonesty result in a conversation with the Associate Dean to inquire about the pattern of academic dishonesty.”
Another change SGA brought about this year involves communications; the ITS committee initiated a new method of communication between SGA members and the rest of the study body. Any student can now send a text message to (859) 904-9742 with ideas, questions or concerns.
Another dynamic part of SGA is the Student Activities Council, which hosts campus-wide events each week; these include activities such as Capture the Flag games, Midnight Movies (free showings of current films at Danville’s cinema), Dive-in Movies (held inside the College’s indoor pool) and Homecoming.
“Students always come out in huge numbers for Midnight Movies,” says SAC president Lindsey Clark ‘11. “We’ve had a few movies, like Iron Man, that were so packed we had to open up a second theater. And Carnival, a outdoor festival in the spring, is an event that’s extremely well attended by students, faculty, staff and the community.”
SAC member Sara Muren ’12 adds that students “love our Faculty Breakfast [when faculty members serve ‘breakfast for dinner’ to their students] during Finals Week and the other study breakers, like cookies and coffee in the academic buildings, that keep them in good spirits during the stressful week of exams.”
Though organizing so many SAC events is quite a bit of work, Clark and the rest of the SAC team relish the challenges that come with the territory.
“I love having a large role with SAC because it gives me an opportunity that few people my age get to have. Planning huge events and watching my fellow classmates enjoy them is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It’s wonderful to watch a lot of hard work pay off.”
Muren agrees. “Knowing that we correctly catered to the interests of the student body and that they enjoyed participating is really what SAC is all about. We’re here for the students, and when I hear positive feedback or see events go well, I feel like SAC has succeeded, and that’s a great feeling.”
Regardless of the task at hand, the members of SGA enjoy their roles in improving the Centre experience.
“The thing I enjoy the most about SGA is when I get to see its members, especially first-year students, get excited about student government,” SGA president Chase Warner ’10 says. “You can feel their passion for serving their fellow students, and it’s beyond rewarding to be a part of such a group. The representatives, senators and other executive officers make SGA a truly unique experience, and they make my job so rewarding.”
Kelly is another of the many SGA members who feels this passion for serving her friends and classmates—and for working for the betterment of the College. “I feel engaged and active on the campus by being a member of SGA,” she says. “It allows me to be connected with students and the College at the same time.”