Opinion: Setting the record straight on SGA


Students listen as the Student Government Association discuss their responses to President Sierra Ambrose’s list of vetos. The vetos become a major point of contention. Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Fallon Chiassion, Troi McClure, Sophia Rataj, Rebecca Driever, and Joann Cassama

We are here to speak our truths. This past school year was not by any means easy. We joined an executive team with two leaders who had no prior experience in the Student Government Association. We were excited, a little scared but, most of all, ready. We knew that we were capable of being in these positions and welcomed the challenge with open minds and open hearts.

Over the summer, our cabinet attended the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. It was an opportunity for our cabinet to bond, get to know each other and learn from other student leaders from Jesuit universities all over the nation. We learned about each other and from each other, and noticed where we might encounter an issue — that being the leadership style our President took at the conference. After the conference, we came back refreshed knowing that we — the appointed cabinet members and Joann — were going to work well with each other.

We came into the fall with a new structure of student involvement, new advisors and a new groove. The Department of Student Involvement became the Office of Student Life and Ministry. People we thought we were going to report to changed. We adjusted, and we got to work. We listened to the frustrations and desires of the student body and attempted to address them in ways most appropriate for our positions.

Rebecca balanced the budget, recruited people for the finance committee and even took the initiative to require the finance committee to have two financial-wellness initiatives per semester after hearing concerns voiced at a town hall.

Fallon recruited over 40 first-year students to join First Year Council so they would have the opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of student government. She also submitted an opinion piece to The Maroon in October citing the summer and fall accomplishments of the cabinet that was never published — so the lack of communication with the student body must also be attributed to a failure by the main source of student news to report on information provided directly by this administration.

Sophia and her executive team of the University Planning Board began planning for Wolf Pack Wednesdays, Third Fridays, the new #Being events in accordance with the administration’s goal of increasing diversity and inclusion and many of the other events hosted on campus.

Troi began making goals to have students get more engaged with our social media and rolled out marketing initiatives to get the Loyola community aware of and excited about our new university president. Culminating in the Instagram page reaching the 1000 plus followers milestone.

Rana appointed justices to the court of review and began making plans for social justice initiatives every month, started to address the food insecurity issue on campus by providing food care kits over holidays, all while helping launch Iggy’s Cupboard.

Joann held senate meetings every Wednesday night and saw them create legislation such as the execution of Homecoming, National Kindness Day, and Slice and Serve, while also chartering over 15 student organizations such as Lemon Pepper, SELF and Women in STEM, in addition to allocating money to provide campus resources like pet disposal stands, rain ponchos, blue books and scantrons, and so much more.

By the end of the fall semester it was clear how much our (cabinet) communication and collaboration has probably been better than ever before, as we all work together to help support each of our respective committees and duties. Some examples of this collaboration that the student body may not be aware of include but are not limited to: Senate allocating funds from their budget to help the court of review stock Iggy’s Cupboard and distribute food care kits; court of review and finance committee working together to fund diversity and inclusion events put on by student organizations using a combination of each committee’s financial resources; allocating a portion of the budget to sponsor SGA communications; senators working at social justice initiatives; a bill passed by Senate to ensure all colleges are represented on the finance committee; and much more.

We did our jobs and we served the student body the best we could in the circumstances we were in. It is not fair nor equitable to lump this administration into one opinion because of what one leader has said and done (or not said and not done). One person does not by any means represent the great work our cabinet has done. We urge the student body to remember SGA this year by the great work we have accomplished.