SGA Report Card
When someone yelled out "Where's Pat Boland?" at the student forum following
Easter Sunday, the Student Government Association (SGA) President quietly answered,
"I'm right here." And "right here" is where he, along with the rest of the
SGA has been since we arrived on campus in September.
Your SGA worked hard this year. Budget cuts coupled with student outcry and demand for change kept the Presidents' Council on its toes. Treasurer David Metcalf had to make tough decisions about where to pull back spending, and though he may have made some enemies in the process, he was responsible and pragmatic with his budget.
In their platform, Boland and Vice President Cary Finnegan pledged to bring Concord Trails bus lines and Zip Cars to campus, two goals accomplished last semester. The SGA wrote and passed a new constitution, approved by the student body, brought back beer and wine night in Dana and helped restore the tradition of Winter Fest. After the rally following the Sunday April 12 incident, when students demanded to have their rights better defined, SGA immediately began working on a student bill of rights. Furthermore, Boland and Finnegan agreed to only take half of their stipends this year, giving the rest to fund campus events.
That being said, SGA still has a way to go to address the lack of involvement and interest with which the student body has come to view the organization. The unopposed election for next year's President and Vice President is a clear indicator of this problem.
Perhaps most importantly, SGA could go even farther toward clear communication with both students and the administration. As our representatives, it is important they maintain a close relationship with the administration. Although Boland and the Presidents' Council seem to have a positive working relationship, some important moments have slipped by SGA due to miscommunication.
For example, while SGA did establish a working group for student housing, the working group provided minimal input into the ultimate designations of chem-free and quiet dormitories. Had the lines of communication between SGA, the administration and the student body been more open, perhaps student concerns could have been addressed early enough for changes in those designations to be made.
Equally important to communicating with the administration is that SGA shares their undertakings with the larger student population.
We also recognize, however, that SGA operates within a constrained environment. Some students view the organization as toothless, only able to make recommendations to those with real power. This might be true. But just because those are the facts on paper doesn't mean that stronger efforts at communication and synergy couldn't help effect meaningful change.
All in all, the Echo feels that SGA has a wonderful job this year and we thank them for their hard work.
It's Echo tradition to grade SGA at the end of the year. While we recognize that grades are often arbitrary, this is Colby College, not Hampshire.
We award SGA with an A-.