The Student Government Association (SGA) at the University of West Georgia (UWG) started the semester strong by implementing a new Strategic Plan and Bylaws, which will guide them in their role as serving as the voice of the student body. The Senate approved the 2015-2016 Strategic Plan at their meeting on Aug. 27th and the official SGA Bylaws on Sept. 3rd.

The Executive Council and members of the Senate developed the Strategic Plan “in order to best serve the students that are enrolled at this prestigious learning institution and continue to the progression of the Student Government Association,” according to the document’s Introductory Statement. The primary authors of the text were President Chance Grzesik and Chief Justice Jonathon James.

“A few ways the Student Government Association plans to better serve the student body are by providing opportunities for students to express their opinions about the university and to enact programs that allow students the chance to meet state and local officials and administrative staff,” said Grzesik. “We also plan to actively assist with the increasing of student involvement at the University of West Georgia.”

Last spring the student body also approved a new SGA Constitution that included major changes to the fundamental structure of the organization. One of these changes was the creation of the Vice President of Student Life position, whose primary tasks are communicating regularly with fellow student organizations and organizing events for the student body. Through the election process the student body elected junior Brittany Groff.

“I’m excited to see what impact the Student Life committee can make at West Georgia and see this new position grow,” said Groff.

Creating this new position and adjusting the responsibilities of the office were important tasks for SGA due to the lack of organization regarding student affairs and events this past year.  Many annual SGA events, including Meet the Administration, the Legislative Town Hall and Coffee & Concerns, were surprisingly lacking under the 2014-2015 Senate, due to a combination of poorly trained incoming Senators and general lack of leadership or direction from more seasoned SGA members.

James has spearheaded the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, and they hope the new constitution will ease the job of governing the student body for senators. By removing unclear wording and roundabout phrasing, the committee created a document that will aid Grzesik in his goals of increasing senator training and better explaining their role on campus.

“After all the hard work to create the new constitution and bylaws, I am excited to be able to implement it into the Student Government Association,” said James. “I feel that we will see SGA do a lot more, and look forward to seeing the change in the reputation of SGA.”

By clearly defining their goals in the Strategic Plan and by revamping the internal structure of the association through the new constitution, SGA has prepared themselves exceptionally for a year of growth and progress.

“I believe this Senate is a strong group of emerging and evolving student leaders,” said Grzesik. “After only a few meetings, I see a vast amount of potential in these Senators and know they will accomplish a great deal within the academic year.”

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