John Brown University campus will now be represented by a dedicated voting member at Student Government Association meetings, as a result of a new plan for the Residence Hall Association and SGA to collaborate.
Kelsey Daugherty, senior and SGA president, said the group saw a need for dorm representation over the past couple of years. People tend to identify most closely with their dorm, more than with their class or their major, she added.
By partnering with the RHA structure already in place, SGA can add one more layer of communication between its senate and the students, Daugherty said.
Each dorm will choose how it selects a person from RHA to serve as its representative in SGA. The townhouses, which do not have any RHA, will also choose a person to join SGA. Commuters are already represented by their own senator.
“Students will now know who they can talk to in their dorm about ideas for SGA,” Daugherty said. “It will also help RHA to not just be a random entity among the JBU acronyms.”
Jeremy Enders, junior and SGA vice president for communication, said the new arrangement will be “mutually beneficial” to both groups. For example, having RHA representatives could have simplified SGA’s work to implement recycling last semester easier.
“The RHA members will be able to speak for their dorms’ unique personalities and likes or dislikes,” Enders said. “It will help us know how a dorm as a whole may respond to an idea.”
At this point, Enders said, the plan is still in the experimental stages.
“We are feeling out possibilities and opening doors for later opportunities,” he said.
SGA worked with Andre Broquard, director of resident life, and the Resident Directors of each dorm in planning the new effort, Daugherty said.
Eric Gingerich, resident director of J. Alvin, said providing a representative from the dorms to SGA made a lot of sense.
“There are also many needs from the residence life perspective that have either been under-represented or not represented at all,” Gingerich added.
J. Alvin had not yet selected a representative, Gingerich said.
Freshman Macy Gregory will represent Mayfield, junior Diana Christian for Hutcheson and freshman Shalene Green for Walker.
Gregory said she looks forward to helping SGA achieve its goal of bettering the campus community.
“This is a chance for me to be a huge part of the community and to make a difference for people,” she said. “I plan to suggest projects which are a common need for the people I represent.”