SGA reflects on a productive semester

With a productive fall semester under their belt, members of JSC’s Student Government Association say they hope to carry that momentum into the spring.

Mary Fafard, SGA public relations coordinator, noted that one of the larger tasks that the SGA tackled this semester was the raising of three additional flags to go with the United States and Vermont state flags. They raised a Prisoners of War flag on Veterans Day, which was followed by a Black Lives Matter flag and a Pride flag.

“A lot of students wanted to see a Black Lives Matter flag go up following the University of Vermont raising one,” said Fafard. “For JSC, Senator Brittney Malik took control and really got the ball rolling for the Black Lives Matter flag and she realized that we should have a Pride flag, and from there, as a whole, the SGA came up with the idea of the POW-MIA flag.”

The group also completed some projects that carried over from last semester. “We installed a basketball hoop in the Visual Arts Center parking lot, which has been well perceived by students,” said Fafard. “There was also a trail kiosk installed near the terrain park, which has maps of the disc golf course, and we are going to hopefully create a map for the surrounding trail system too.”

Fafard noted that SGA senator Corrina Skorker was able to get a salt bucket placed near the on-campus apartments so that residents will be able to salt their driveways this winter, and that senator Micah Hayes is working on getting a first aid kit for the rugby field.

Throughout the semester, the SGA registered or helped 40 people with voting or getting absentee ballots, as well as hosted two debate screenings.

According to Fafard, the SGA gave out $4,699 in mini grants to students this semester to go towards attending conferences and certifications, and helping some Outdoor Education students purchase some gear that they needed to be able to participate in some of their classes.

As far as unification goes, SGA vice president Kate Abdel-Fatah noted that they created a resolution that was sent to the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees consisting of a set of points they wanted to present to students so they could know more.

“We have been trying to get more of the student body involved in attending community conversation events regarding unification,” said Abdel-Fatah. “For the most part, it has just been student leaders showing up, so we are going to try and work on getting more student involvement.”

Abdel-Fatah said that when you are involved in some sort of campus activity, you will see and understand the unification process more first-hand. “With whatever you might be involved in, your bosses and coaches are going to talk more about unification,” says Abdel-Fatah. “I feel that the majority of campus doesn’t have someone or something directly informing them about what is going on with unification.”

SGA President Shavonna Bent said that even with all of the new faces involved with this semester in the SGA, the group caught onto everything pretty quickly. “At first, it was interesting because we only had three people that knew our process,” said Bent. “Everyone caught on really quickly and we have been running smoothly and working as a team, so it’s been really great.”

For the spring, Bent said that she is hoping to work with the VSC student association to rally with the other state schools and work towards creating more funding for higher education in the state. “Getting students involved with this process by contacting local legislators about issues that they are concerned about is one of my hopes with this idea,” said Bent. “Whether it deals with funding, environmental issues or human rights, and now seeing how this election has been a little bit unexpected, I think it’s more important than ever to have students be involved locally.”

Additional SGA spring semester outlooks and projects include planning for their annual casino night, working on getting a mural painted on the blank green wall outside wall of SHAPE that faces the rock and installing a few different permanent lawn games in the ground somewhere on campus like corn hole, horseshoes and can jam.

For more information regarding up-to-date topics with the SGA, they encourage students to stop by their office in the Stearns Student Center, Room 411, or call or email at (802) 635-1232, with any questions.