SGA: Past, present, and future

Like every College, Johnson University has gone through many changes since it’s foundation. It has been through three different name changes, old buildings have been repurposed, and new buildings have been built to meet the ever growing needs of both student and administration.

Some of the most recent changes at Johnson, have come from the university’s Student Government Association.

Just last year, the SGA adjusted its constitution so as to become more organized and better suited to be a voice for the student body, to the school administration.

This is not the only change that the SGA has gone through. According to David Legg, the Dean of Students, and current SGA advisor, the SGA has undergone many other changes since it began in May of 1952, as the Student Counsel.

Legg said that the Student Counsel’s role grew over the years, saying that they organized infrequent social events (usually 1 or 2 per semester), and tried to represent the student body to the administration.

“The student counsel operated then from 1952 until I think about 2007, or so,” said Legg. “In 2007, the Student Counsel reconfigured itself as the Student Government Association, and took on more responsibilities.”

For the next seven years, this switch from the Student Counsel to the Student Government Association, was the most notable change in the organization’s long history. However, in April of 2014, the SGA’s constitution underwent further adjustments. In hopes that it would be more organized, and efficient, at acting on the requests and best interests of the student body.

“Within the Student Government Association, we had identified a need for a more organized structure,” said Matthew Shears, the current student body president. “The previous student body president  had a committee formed which was the Constitutional revision committee.”

Shears continued to explain how the change in Johnson, since it officially becoming a university, and continued growth of students over the years lead to the decision to reorganize the SGA. He listed the five standing committees, within the cabinet:

  • The Student life committee deals with student advocacy, leadership development, communication with the school admin, and aiding student organizations.
  • The Social Activities Committee handles all parties and official school social gatherings.
  • The Major Events Committee is tasked with handling events such as Founder’s Day.
  •  The Internal Management Committee deals with the internal working of SGA, such as money, and disciplinary actions.
  •  The Public Relations Committee deals with PR needs, school announcement co-ordination, and other things of a similar nature.

Shears went on to explain, that along with these five standing committees, that a few other major changes are being put to task in SGA.

“The biggest difference, I think, is that we are able to serve and represent the student body better through these committees, and it also takes a lot of stress off of the student body president, and student vice president, and secretary,” Shears said.

Shears also said that another major change in SGA was the formation of a student senate, which helped to move some of the power from the student body president, and stated that even with the changes in SGA that the organization still retains many of the functions that it has had before.

“We are still planning all of the events that we have before, but we are doing them in a more structured way, which helps us to do them better and more efficiently, and more professionally,” said Shears.

Shears listed a few other projects that SGA will be taking on sometime in the near future.

“We have a couple things… on the backburner right now… The TV downstairs that’s broken in the EAC, we’re working on getting that fixed,” Shears said. “We’re also talking about the Washers and Dryer that are in the dorms… those have not been too successful in their operations, within the past couple of years”