Since the beginning of the semester, Muhlenberg’s Student Government Association (SGA), and student body president Stephanie Ng ‘20 have been working on enacting many new changes and initiatives on campus.
“Some of the projects we’re working on include free laundry, free feminine products in bathrooms, leadership workshops and improving social life and spirit on campus,” said Ng. “We have some very exciting events coming your way, which include tailgates, Whine Week and milkshakes in GQ. There’s a few other projects that will be a surprise so keep your eyes out. I can’t guarantee that you will see all these things this semester, but we are certainly working on these things.”
“Whine Week” is one new way that SGA is working to increase transparency and dialogue between students and their student government.
“We’re here to serve the students and we want to hear everyone’s concerns”
“Essentially, it will be a week of activities and tabling that will give students the opportunity to voice their opinions,” explained Ng. “At the beginning of the semester, I had tasked everyone with the assignment of defining why they were on Student Government and what they hoped to achieve. Almost all individuals said they wanted to advocate for students. From all my years in Student Government, students seem hesitant to come to us for one reason or another. By having this Whine Week, we hope to create a space where we are more accessible so students are more comfortable with approaching us.”
Ng hopes to restructure SGA in order to better meet the needs of students.
“So far I have changed our meeting structure so we spend half the time as a general assembly and half the time in our committees,” said Ng. “This gives our committees more time to meet during the week, which should let us get more work done. I’m always thinking about projects we can take on to help students get more involved and develop their leadership skills as well.”
The constituency program, which was instituted last year, assigns a member of SGA to a group of student clubs/organizations with the goal of functioning as a representative for those groups. The goal of the constituency program is to strengthen relationships between SGA and the student body at ‘Berg.
“The constituency program is still in use; however, it is not very effective,” said Ng. “We are having problems with the constituency groups reaching back out to their according representatives. We’re hoping to revamp the system because people should utilize and form relationships with their representatives. We’re here to serve the students and we want to hear everyone’s concerns.”
“We hope to create a space where we are more accessible so students are more comfortable with approaching us”
In order to improve transparency between the students and SGA, many steps have been taken.
“We are increasing our activity on Instagram and Facebook, so please follow our pages. I also hope to make a few posts on my personal pages to update everyone on what’s been going on. The hard part about creating change is that it takes time to do so,” explains Ng. “Although students may not see progress on the new initiatives we are working on, a lot of it has to do with all the approval and offices we have to go through, which significantly slows things down. I assure you, progress has been made.”
This semester, SGA is considering negotiating the College’s contract with Sodexo to improve the dining options on campus.
“We hope to do some tabling and surveying to gather what students think,” said Ng. “We have some things in mind, such as meal plan options and dining hall options, but we would really like to get student feedback on the matter before we push for anything.”
“As president, not only am I trying to be as communicative and supportive as possible to all the students, but I also want to create opportunities for students to reach their full potential,” said Ng, summing up her role as president.