SGA administration reflects on the semester

Despite+the+challenges+faced+due+to+the+coronavirus+pandemic%2C+SGA+was+able+to+center+their+efforts+this+semester+in+community+building+initiatives+for+more+diversity+and+inclusion+on+campus.+One+of+the+biggest+internal+changes+is+the+addition+of+the+Equity+and+Inclusion+Committee+and+the+establishment+of+a+new+scholarship+for+multicultural+students%2C+the+Grace+of+Ignatius+Award.+Photo+credit%3A+Maria+Paula+Marino

Despite the challenges faced due to the coronavirus pandemic, SGA was able to center their efforts this semester in community building initiatives for more diversity and inclusion on campus. One of the biggest internal changes is the addition of the Equity and Inclusion Committee and the establishment of a new scholarship for multicultural students, the Grace of Ignatius Award. Photo credit: Maria Paula Marino

Oliver Bennett

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, SGA’s current administration has achieved many of the goals they set out to, including establishing diversity and inclusion initiatives and establishing a student seat on the university’s board of trustees.

The current SGA administration has updated its election code as a part of its equity initiatives as well as confirmed a seat at the table for a student representative on the university’s board of trustees.

Zontré City, SGA vice president, believes there’s nothing this year’s administration can’t do.

An internal change in SGA this semester includes the addition of a new branch, the Equity and Inclusion Committee. Led by Cheyenne Williams, the committee has established a new scholarship, the Grace of Ignatius Award, that offers three multicultural students at Loyola $500 to be used on any expenses.

“2020 has given us a lot…This is a good time for us to pay it forward for the next student government president or the student government president and cabinet in ten years,” City said.

This semester, Tyler Sanchez, chief justice of the court of review, also cleaned up the previous election code, according to SGA. He made the document more coherent, added more gender neutral language and defined students’ eligibility to vote for on-campus leaders more clearly.

Aside from internal improvements, City said SGA is concerned with building a community on campus through social justice initiatives.

“This semester is a lot of figuring out what we can do, learning from our constituents, and seeing what they want us to do so next semester,” City said. “Hopefully, we can work to build that sense of community even more.”

Freedom Richardson, SGA president, said he is committed to improving the quality of life of students and faculty on campus. The campus food pantry, Iggy’s Cupboard, has been a project of his this semester. Richardson said he is committed to no less than $5,000 a semester for the food pantry on campus.

Previously, Iggy’s Cupboard only received $3,000 a year, according to Richardson. The extra funds will allow Iggy’s Cupboard to operate well into the summer, extend those services to faculty and staff and hire volunteers so its success isn’t as predicated on students, Richardson said.

Richardson said he has also been concerned with transparency and advocacy between students and the board of trustees this semester. A student representative will serve on the board to ensure that “student voices are equally as valued,” said Richardson, a campaign promise on which he ran.

Richardson said he wants students to know that their voices are being heard by the student government.

“Our administration, at times, will have a history of acting in complete contrast to what students are asking for,” Richardson said. “Students will wear their hearts on their sleeves. Whenever they give that insight, those opinions, those honest answers and candid criticisms, we want to make sure that it falls on good ears.”

As the semester progresses, SGA continues to meet with and work for the students, according to Richardson.