SGA members are ready to jump into the new semester


Ian Major

Shavonna Bent

Editor’s Note: Bent is SGA president.


The Student Government Association is off to a productive start of the academic year.
Kate Abdel-Fatah is serving as pro-tempore of the senate.


Dana Prouty, Micah Hayes and Sara Ford are all returning for their second years. Chris Magnani is rejoining the senate for his second year after a brief hiatus. Shavonna Bent will head the SGA as President for her second year while also taking on the role of student trustee to the board of trustees to the Vermont State Colleges. Brynn Cairns was recently appointed secretary, and Leighanne Merchant has joined as the new treasurer.


Projects currently underway include the installation of a bulletin board in the College Apartments laundry room, aimed to increase communication of events and opportunities between residents of the apartments. Kate Abdel-Fatah, who is conducting this project, said, “As a new member of the apartments, I’d really love a space to share with other residents. It’s harder to meet new people than in the dorms, as everyone has their own living space. But I would love to foster a sense of community and I think this bulletin board can be a way to start those conversations.”


Dana Prouty is continuing research into a project to update the lockers in Dibden Center for the Arts. Prouty shared with the senate the degraded quality of the space, and how difficult it can be for performers to leave their instruments while attending other classes. She hopes to help renovate the lockers to provide a safe and well-maintained storage space for years to come.


The SGA has also conducted two tabling events to gain feedback on a renovation project of the Stearns Gaming Area (located on the first floor).


Thus far the group hopes to brighten up the space, and provide seating and games and other options that make the space more welcoming for students. The tabling was well received by students, who shared that they would most likely use the space more if it offered more to do, or a comfy space outside their dorms. The SGA hopes to make this space into a fun, relaxing environment.


Also new this year from the SERVE office is the campus food pantry. The SGA provided a donation and volunteer hours to help get the space up and running. The food pantry, headed by the Director of Student Activities and Community Service Krista Swahn, aims to help get food to those who need it for any variety of reasons. In the future, Swahn hopes that the pantry can not only be a place to get food, but to access off campus resources as well. Working together with the SERVE office has lent great success for the SGA in the past, and they hope to continue this trend with the Food Pantry and beyond.


Looking toward unification with Lyndon, slated for fall of 2018, the Student Government has started to attend meetings that lay down the details of what NVU will become. Thursday, September 7, found almost the entire group at the first of four Core Curriculum meetings. Students shared concerns over the availability of core courses, should the new model be put in place too quickly, as well as general feedback on the themes that have been proposed as guides to the new general education requirements for NVU.


The SGA is also jumping right into meetings with the Vermont State Colleges Student Association, this year co-chaired by me.


Last spring, the Johnson SGA was an integral part in contacting the State House to request an increase in appropriations for the Vermont State Colleges (VSC). This was met with success, in the form of a $3 million dollar increase in base appropriations to the VSC.


As they return from a productive year in 2016-17, the new group of senators and executives looks forward to accomplishing more projects on campus and further representing the voice of students in all pertinent issues.


(If you are interested in student government and have at least one semester at JSC, please consider applying at or emailing for more information.)