Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

EDITORIAL: Students should vote in SGA elections

Sofia Johnson

What does Loyola Student Government Association do for the student body?

The truth is many students don’t know.

The organization serves as the primary representative body for the student body, advocating for their needs, concerns, and interests to the university administration. Through its three branches – Executive, Legislative, and Judicial – and the President’s Cabinet, SGA should facilitate communication between students and the administration, organize events and programs to enhance student life, allocate funds to registered student organizations, and foster a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and social justice on campus, according to SGA.

We know how they operate, but why don’t we see what they do?

We should have high expectations for our SGA. We know about the events they host, but students want real change within the university.

According to Butch Oxendine from the American Student Government Association, the role of student government should advocate for positive change through interaction with the student body.

With the 2024-25 SGA election on the horizon, laying a new foundational groundwork can create a better future for SGA to implement real change within policies around campus.

This begins with research, such as comparing to other Jesuit institutions on what their SGA’s do, and a direct line to the student body.

The start of this change can be in shifting more of their operations to gear toward student advocacy and support, not just planning programming events. Although SGA merged with UPB in 2012, their goals and roles should remain separate. Fostering a community is important, but SGA is meant for more.

SGA needs to strive for advocacy rather than just novelty programming.

While these are great events that are necessary, they are the role of UPB. SGA is called for a different role on campus.

Educational panels, such the Assembly for Sexual Assault Prevention committee’s soiree, and inclusive events, like the drag show, are examples of propelling and impactful programming that uphold our university’s Jesuit values.

The implementation of the community garden, providing rain barrels to the environment program, advocating for the return of “window,” along with maintaining campus resources such as Iggy’s cupboard and the Grace of Ignatius award are great examples of what we need and continue to expect from the next student leaders. Advocating for students needs to be met and implementing change to support the student body should be at the forefront of our SGA.

But, beyond those initiatives, SGA is the student body’s voice at the table. SGA sits in on Board of Trustees meetings, the University Budget Committee—where tuition decisions are made—and the Standing Council for Academic Planning, where curriculum decisions are made. Those are the areas that SGA needs to be standing up for students. If they are doing this, that’s great, but we need to be made aware of it. We aren’t being asked what needs to be communicated to higher ups. And this should be the core role of SGA.

These are expectations, but the decision to elect a candidate to fulfill these expectations rests in the hands – and votes – of students. We must vote to be heard. Only students can decide which candidate will be effective in making change and supporting the school.

There is a fee within your tuition bill for SGA. You have the right to put your opinion in on what happens with this organization. Don’t let your money go to waste.

Together, let us ensure that our SGA serves for positive change, fostering an inclusive, vibrant, and empowered campus community.

Keep all these considerations in mind, and remember – you have a say in your Loyola experience and voting a worthy candidate can make all the difference.

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About the Contributor
Lizzy Hadley
Lizzy Hadley, Op/Ed Editor
Lizzy Hadley currently serves as The Maroon’s Op/Ed Editor. Lizzy is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in film/digital media, and pursuing a minor in social media. In her free time, Lizzy is usually playing Animal Crossing New Horizons on her switch or casually reading some young adult fiction. Lizzy can be reached at [email protected].

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