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SGA Revamps for Greater Engagement

SGA Revamps for Greater Engagement


The Student Government Association (SGA) has restructured its executive branch in order to increase student representation and involvement.

Changes approved by the student senate on Nov. 29 call to eliminate the secretary and parliamentarian. Three new positions will be created: the director of diversity, equity and inclusion, the director of community engagement and outreach and the director of student activities. The three new positions are geared toward greater collaboration with campus groups SGA may not have dealt with directly in the past.

Student Government Association
Officers of the current, 2016-17 Student Government Association gathered recently.

“Student government is a system that advocates for all students and this change will develop the structure to do so,” said SGA President Michael Braun.

The new positions will bring the number of SGA executive roles to 10. The restructured executive board, which begins functioning in Fall 2017, will continue former roles under new names, with the exception of president, as follows: executive vice president, chief financial officer, chief of staff to the president, chief of staff to the vice president, associate financial officer, and director of public relations.

The vice president directly assists recognized clubs and guides prospective clubs. The treasurer and vice treasurer govern and disperse students’ activity fees to recognized and affiliated SGA clubs. The public relations chair promotes club events.

The roles of the secretary and parliamentarian, primarily minute-taking and rule of order, respectively, will be assumed by the executive directors to the president and vice president.               

The restructured executive board will take office with changes to a number of titles. The treasurer will be called the chief financial officer, and executive directors to the president and vice president will be known as chiefs of staff.

The director of diversity, equity and inclusion will work closely with the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office (MCLDO). This allows the SGA to work together with the MCLDO to collaborate on events and programming for the student body to further the mission of inclusivity on campus.

“Diversity and improving and fostering relationships in the Cortland community was at the forefront of our agenda since we got elected,” said Braun.

The director of community engagement and outreach will collaborate with city leaders and appoint students to serve on committees and boards throughout the Cortland community. This position aims to partner with local organizations and the Institute of Civic Engagement to create opportunities for student involvement.

“Having a student liaison that has the resources and community partnerships can provide service and educational opportunities that can significantly benefit students overall experience here at SUNY Cortland,” said Braun.

The director of student activities will handle programming and connect to the Student Activities Board (SAB).

With a restructured executive board, SGA remains committed to working with student clubs as well as hearing from those who do not belong to clubs.

“This new executive branch is going to bring our SGA to the point where it can have true influence on students’ experiences on campus,” Braun said.

To learn more about the Student Government Association, contact Braun.

Prepared by Communications Office intern Jessica Haverlin