Islanders have elected their new Student Government Association (SGA) officers for the 2018 – 2019 year and the new leaders say they want to make some major changes at the Island University. Connar Allen, junior political science major, was elected as SGA President, along with junior political science and communication studies major Cassandra (June) Scheick, who was elected as Vice President. Allen and Scheick said they both took interest in SGA their first year at the Island and have been actively involved since then. They said they hope to continue making SGA bigger and better, and also continue to be the voice for Islanders.
“We are the official body that represents students,” Scheick said. “We pay to go here, and this university isn’t just an investment in our money. It’s an investment of our time and experience. There needs to be someone who represents students’ best interest.”
Allen said he was involved in various committees and very active on campus as a freshman, where he won General Member of the Year based on his office hours. In his sophomore year, he represented the college of Liberal Arts as a senator where he tackled any issues they had. Finally, this past year he was appointed Speaker of the Senate, where he helped write and organize legislation.
“Being a political science major, it is what attracted me to SGA,” Allen said. “But I think that ultimately being involved in the decisions of campus and being able to represent the best interest of the students is what interested me most.”
Scheick said she joined SGA her second semester of her freshman year because it was an organization that interested her. She became a committee member of Student Affairs then this past year she served as a College of Liberal Arts senator and committee chair.
“I decided to run for Vice President because I had some ideas for the Student Government Association,” Scheick said. “We want to make the university better.”
While their terms won’t begin until after the 2018 Spring Commencement, Allen and Scheick said SGA already has plans for what issues they want to focus on for students. Their two main issues are general safety and tackling affordability for college students.
“Lighting is an issue on campus,” Allen said. “There’s a lack of sidewalks in the resident area, but lighting is a major issue I think has gotten ignored. When we point things out, we’re given an excuse of why aspects of this campus have fallen into disrepair. The only way to get problems like this solved is to keep pushing for them. The more vocal people are about problems on campus, the more likely they will be solved.”
As far as student affordability, Allen and Scheick said they want to continue the Open Education Resources (OER) proposal that current SGA President Justin Bustos created. Allen said he had actually helped Bustos with this proposal by drafting a sample letter where students can put their information and lobby their professors to advocate for open materials for their courses.
Aside from affordability and safety, Allen said he also wants to push for more involvement on campus and school spirit. SGA has already done this by creating the event “Bluesday Tuesday,” where every Tuesday students are encouraged to wear clothing that demonstrates their Islander spirit. Islanders can post a photo of themselves and use the hashtag #BluesdayTuesday.
Allen and Scheick both said that people who face the most prob- lems are the ones who have the least amount of time to get involved with activities or organizations like SGA.
“Students should be involved and explain what issues or problems they have,” Scheick said. “Try to be verbal and informed about what’s going on around campus.”
SGA holds public weekly meetings every Monday from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. in the Engineering building, room 108, where students are welcome to join in and voice their concerns. Their office is located on the second floor of the University Center. For more information on SGA and the new candidates, visit sga.tamucc.edu.