The Student Government Association (SGA) has a busy spring semester planned. Zaire Carter ‘22, SGA president, said, “As always, we are going to continue to support students, clubs [and] organizations and tackle issues facing the student body.” This includes helping students create new clubs, financing current clubs on campus and making sure they get the necessary resources to attend off-campus events and conferences.
The SGA also has new initiatives that they are working to implement. One of the larger changes that they are trying to establish is an expansion to mental health initiatives that ensure that students who are having mental health crises are able to get the help they need and access to resources. “This was something we found that students were particularly passionate about given the recent spike in mental health crises around campus last semester. It is clear to me and to my entire SGA administration that students want more changes to mental health, and while last semester’s R&R Day was a step in the right direction, there is always more that needs to be done. I’m hopeful that these policy discussions will yield effective changes to the way mental health is dealt with on campus,” Carter said.
Students are excited to see these new changes be implemented on campus. Ian Clark ‘25 said, “I think it’s very good that they are expanding the care available through mental health services. As someone who recently started using them, I specifically found an issue with the after hours and weekend service line. But, if they are taking steps to fix it and make it better, then that is a very good sign of positive change here at Muhlenberg and I am all here for it.”
Nate Reimer ‘24 agreed with that sentiment, saying, “Mental health is a real struggle that people have, so it’s good that they are working to expand those resources, especially with the hardships of these last two years.”
Some exciting events that are planned include a Mule-Mitzvah and Spring Wrap-Up. In addition to having events run by the SGA, the campus engagement committee is also working to partner with other groups on campus. For the month of February, they are working with the Office of Multicultural Life and Africana Studies to have Black History Month events. Later in the semester there will be a student-run drag show and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) sponsored diversity chair dinner to connect all of the DEI chairs across campus and help create a support network for those in this field.
The last major event that Carter highlighted was the April SGA election in “which all students can vote… for every position on SGA.” Previously, the voting process for the executive board was done internally, but now voting is open to the entire campus. “I only say this because this is a new change that was made to SGA from spring 2021. And while I was a major proponent for these changes, it was really the voices of the student body that created this change. That is why it is important to vote and to show up. As I said in my presidential election, decisions are made by those who show up” said Carter.
Changes have also been made to laundry processes on campus. This will make it easier for students to do their laundry in various residence halls and off-campus properties. After the student laundry survey results from last semester came back, it was found that there was a desire for card readers in MILE property laundry rooms. “Given this information and how accessibility is a central part to our approach with laundry, SGA acted quickly to pay for and install card readers in all of the MILE areas for students,” Carter said.
Ky Dates ‘22 responded to these changes saying, “For the most part, I think the addition of card readers is helpful for MILE residents. It provides accessibility, given that the only quarter machine is in prosser and there is no longer an ATM on campus. However, this feels like a temporary accommodation and improvement, as the ideal solution is removing any fee for laundry in the machines or tuition costs to provide intersectional accessibility for MILE residents.” Carter addressed the desire for free laundry, saying, “The truth of the matter is that laundry, no matter how you go about it, is not going to be ‘free.’ It’s either going to cost students and families money or the College money.”