SGA to focus on clubs


Ian Major

Nassar Abdel-Fatah

Johnson State Colleges Student Government Association is looking to continue with a strong, productive academic year following the fall 2015 semester.

Planning for the annual SGA casino night, finishing senate projects, and distributing mini-grant money are some of the main topics on this semester’s agenda according to SGA president Nasser Abdel-Fatah.

This year’s casino night will be on Mar. 11. Abdel-Fatah noted this will mark the event’s 39th consecutive year. As in the past, the proceeds from the event are going to be directed to the United Way of Lamoille County.

The SGA has $3,000 to give out in the form of mini grants to students, distributed based upon the money’s proposed use for academic purposes. “There is no limit on how much students can apply for,” said Abdel-Fatah. “Students generally use these grants to go to conferences and trips. There is a large span of interests that we can help with.”

As for senate projects, Abdel-Fatah noted that several projects have been put on hold due to the winter months. “One senator is working on getting an outdoor grill on campus,” said Abdel-Fatah. “Another project in the works is possibly getting a coin machine installed in one of the residence halls so people can have easier access to quarters for their laundry.”

Abdel-Fatah said the SGA is working more on bills and resolutions, to try to expand aspects of their SGA constitution that dates back to 1996. “We want to try to make it more modern to relate to what students in 2016 might need,” he said.

The SGA is also focused on the expansion of academic clubs, although progress remains slow. “This all relies on student interest,” said Abdel-Fatah. “It’s been hard to get…academic clubs going.”

So far, the main focus is on promoting the science, politics, and outing clubs, according to Abdel-Fatah. “We are still trying to figure out what it’s going to take to make these clubs successful. We need one strong club that can be used as a good example for other departments once things play out.”

The SGA president says that while there is room to grow for the SGA, he has been really pleased with the group’s overall performance this year. “Our team dynamic was great last semester, everyone worked really well together,” he said. “The senate members were really good at communicating with everyone and they all got their jobs done… I have seen a good deal of involvement with campus life with this year’s senators, and they are letting everyone know that they exist for them.”

This is Abdel-Fatah’s final semester at JSC; he is hoping to leave the SGA with a good established leadership. “I will hopefully be leaving the SGA inspired, intact, and ready to keep the ball rolling,” he said. “Since my time here, one problem that I have seen is that people graduate and no one is there to take over the roles that are left, resulting in groups and organizations having to restart from the bottom.”

For more information regarding up-to-date decisions within the SGA, you can visit its office in the Stearns Student Center, Room 411, or call or email at (802) 635-1232,

The SGA meets every Thursday in room 143 of the Willey Library Learning Center, the John E. Lord Room, at 4:15pm.