SGA continues its work over summerBy Adam Dodson | 06/15/2017 8:26am
During the summer, members of The University of Alabama's Student Government Association go all over the world studying abroad, interning for elected officials and participating in political campaigns. So what happens to the SGA on campus?
The executive branch of the SGA is the only one that meets throughout the summer, usually about three to four times a week. They stay involved with the UA and Tuscaloosa community and work to promote the administration's agenda before the school year begins.
"While SGA can seem dormant in the summer with only the executive branch in operation, a lot of critical work is still done during this time," said Patrick Fitzgerald, a multi-year member of the SGA senate. "The planning process for projects, reforms, and various executive sponsored pieces of legislation can be created in this 'down time.'"
So far this summer, Price McGiffert, the Director of External Affairs, has begun coordinating efforts with the Center on Advanced Public Safety on an all-inclusive campus app that is newly released. This is also a promise made by SGA President Jared Hunter, who is still the person in charge over the summer term.
SGA Chief of Staff Caitlyn Cobb and VP of Student Affairs Mollie Gillis have also been meeting with members of the Athletic Department to discuss student ticket allocation. There is also a plan currently in motion to update and make changes to Action Cards before the start of the upcoming year. The Board of Governors has begun to review applications for Student Organization Seating.
"We focus more on getting the ball rolling for our major initiatives in the fall," said SGA Director of Media Relations Sierra Shockley. "Before summer break, we began taking initiative on topics such as mental health and look forward to continuing such efforts throughout the year."
However, there those who are aware of the obstacles that SGA faces with so many people traveling everywhere. Communication and organization can sometimes present an issue. Grayson Everett, former Communications Director for SGA, highlighted some of the challenges faced by the summer administration.
"SGA's biggest challenge during the summer is the inherently diminished collaboration and manpower," said Everett. "When everyone is spread out over the summer, it's naturally difficult to get everyone working on the same page."
Although communication and collaboration may present a problem, Shockley is confident in the administration's ability to operate effectively despite this decrease in staff members. Shockley claims there has been no issue whatsoever with communication over the summer, saying that a GroupMe with the SGA Advisor and phone calls help deter these potential problems.
SGA is also currently working with the Athletic Department to develop and release a Tide Pride rewards application.