Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

COLUMN: An explanation of how SGA operates

Courtesy of Makayla Hawkins

During my time at Loyola University New Orleans I have grown to cherish the Student Government Association deeply through my participation for four years.

I began my time in SGA as a part of the First Year Council, which is a committee within the executive branch dedicated to explaining the complexities of the student government to the first year students. I met my first friends on campus and gained mentors who would go on to show me how to be an effective leader and enact meaningful change.

From that point on, I continued in SGA, joining the Equity and Inclusion Committee, then Senate, Chief of Staff, and ultimately becoming the SGA President.

Although my participation in SGA began early, I didn’t immediately feel as though this organization was something that I would enjoy. However, I soon realized that there were plenty of things in SGA to get involved with.

This realization allowed me to explore all the different avenues for me in SGA and encourage others to as well. Even though there are a lot of ways for students to join, a lack of knowledge on how SGA operates creates a hindering environment and deters students from participating.

This is something that I hope to alleviate through providing some insight on SGA’s structure and student involvement.

SGA consists of three branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. Each of these branches has their own committees, programs and projects that help to advocate for the betterment of the student experience here at Loyola.

The executive branch consists of the Homecoming committee, the Equity and Inclusion committee, the Finance committee, the University Programming Board, the Communications committee and First Year Council.

Each of these committees are overseen by their own directors which make up the President’s Executive Cabinet. These committees are also responsible for a majority of the student facing programming that the student body enjoys.

All of these committees also provide opportunities for participation from students from all majors and interests.

For instance, those who are interested in large scale event planning and execution may find their home within the University Programming Board. They are in charge of coordinating Wolf Pack Wednesday, all Third Fridays events, and traditional events such as SNEAUX and Stuff a Wolf!

Another avenue for students who enjoy programming would be the Homecoming committee that puts on a week full of exciting events and games for the entire campus to enjoy.
Students that lean more toward graphic design, marketing or photography would feel more at home within the Communications committee. This committee was also the ones responsible for designing and distributing the Loyola SGA sweatshirts and tote bags that many students enjoyed last year.

Those who are more financially savvy may enjoy participating in the Finance committee approving allocations for students and student organizations.

If none of these interest you then you may be interested in advocating and creating programming for underrepresented communities on campus through the Equity and Inclusion committee. This committee is responsible for things such as Aids Awareness tabling, the Loyola Drag Show, and a multitude of other awareness events.

The Legislative Branch is home to the Senate, which is the student representative body that produces written legislation to advocate for small and university-wide changes.

Some of the legislation from this branch has created things such as the Loyno Flea Market, the Pursuit of Excellence Textbook Scholarship and purchased a majority of the tables students utilize within the Peace Quad.

Students interested in advocacy and researching policy changes would be able to collaborate with like-minded students in order to improve the campus for everyone.

There are a multitude of committees for students to engage within this branch as well such as: Facilities and services, Advocacy and Outreach, Student Involvement, Disability and Accessibility, Assembly for Sexual Assault Prevention, Sustainability and Arts and Cultures.

The Judicial Branch, led by the Chief Justice, is responsible for social justice programming and events. Along with this they also mediate student organizational conflicts and interbranchial disputes within the Student Government Association. They can most commonly be seen hosting the voter registration drives and constitution day events. Additionally, they are responsible for ensuring SGA upholds their responsibilities in the constitution and branch bylaws.

Those interested in any of these committees or branches can join through applying on HowlConnect or by connecting with the executive cabinet or senators at large during their office hours in the SGA Hub.

The SGA Hub is located in the basement of the Danna Center and is a space with a plethora of resources for students to use.

I hope I was able to demystify some parts of SGA for you and that you choose to join us and use your talents to better the campus we all call home.

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