Call to order: practical advice for our student government

We have written about what our Student Government Association does and the areas they could improve on. After all, one of our responsibilities as the press is to hold our institution accountable for their actions, be watchdogs for the little men.

The duties are great for SGA. They really are the representatives of the student body in front of the administration. They are agents of change that could affect thousands of students every year. Their voice is louder than the rest of us and we deposit our hopes on them.

The Threefold Advocate applauds SGA’s actions that have resulted in favorable change. However, we want to comment on the lack of recent efforts or outreach to the student body as a warning signal.

In our last issue of the year, The Threefold Advocate wants to offer SGA some practical suggestions so they can improve in the future.

These days, an effective social media presence is a key factor for the success of any enterprise. If SGA wants to reach the student body, a tweet or a Facebook poll could reach far more people than a flyer in the mailboxes or even a table in Walker.

Although SGA does have Facebook and Twitter accounts, their presence is far from effective. Their last Twitter update is from April 2010, and their presence on Facebook is not constant or meaningful. They could benefit from looking at other organizations on campus, such as BLUE, VIBE and CAUSE Ministries, who utilize social media tools to reach out to the people they’re serving. Interactivity is key in these platforms. Whoever gets elected VP of Communications at SGA could run these sites to really connect with their constituents.

SGA elections could also be handled in a more serious way, rather than voting for positions that have only one candidate. We understand the case might be that students do not show interest, but that is a problem that should be addressed first. Students might not care about joining SGA because some of them simply don’t know much of what SGA does or how it works. Some people might hear about SGA only during their SGA Week or through their Toilet Paper publication. Although both these things help, there is room for much more to be done. Their efforts should go beyond creating a humorous publication every now and then.

SGA candidates should have real platforms and generate debate and dialogue, not only be a person who nominates himself and asks his friends to vote for him.

We believe in SGA’s incredible potential for the betterment of student life. If they implement some of our simple, easy suggestions, we forecast an SGA more active than never before that will really look and act like a government body.