by Will Dancer / Staff Reporter
Roosevelt University’s Student Government Association has undergone various changes over the past years. Saying goodbye to a longtime president, re-writing and implementing a new SGA constitution and trying to get the student body to recognize SGA’s work has kept the team busy.
This school year, SGA has focused on recruiting senators and making goal-oriented committees. “Every year we are eager to expand the number of members we have in SGA since it is our goal is to represent all of our students,” said SGA President Leonardo J. Rojas-Banda.
Before graduating, previous SGA president Brandon Glynn championed a new and improved SGA constitution that attempted to make the entire governing process more streamlined and concise.
So far, this constitution is still in use. “It is the foundation of our association,” Rojas-Banda said. “This semester we have distributed the constitution to all of our members and have encouraged them to read it.”
As for SGA’s main focus for this semester and into the near future, members are looking to address three key goals. The first is communication with dining services.
“We have established a food advisory committee that will be hosting a meeting on the last Wednesday of every month with staff from our dining services,” Rojas-Banda said. “The purpose of this committee is so students can communicate any issues they have with regard to dining services directly to the staff.”
“Leo is correct that SGA is looking into talks with the dining staff & improving the dining experience,” said SGA Vice President, Deriall Reed. “Students feel that they do not have much of a say when it comes to healthier food options, prices of food and the use of leftover meal plan funds.”
These statements come as the university is preparing to switch to an “all-you-care-to-eat” style in the cafeteria. Therefore, communication between the student body and dining servies will be spearheaded by SGA.
Secondly, SGA hopes to address issues involving printing.
“We are in the process of gathering the opinion of students with regard to the cost of printing and if they would like us to create a plan to either lower that cost or establish free printing,” Rojas-Banda said.
According to Reed, Roosevelt’s student population is mostly commuters, with 75 percent of students commuting. “SGA thinks it’s important as an institution to think about the financial needs of our students,” Reed said.
Lastly, SGA would like to address the overall issue of student involvement at Roosevelt University.
“We’ve heard from a variety of students that they would like to be more involved on campus. In order to solve this issue, we plan on communicating with different clubs and organizations to organize pathways for students to become involved,” Rojas-Banda explains.
He elaborates further, saying if students have any concerns they would like SGA to address, “they can always attend our general assembly meetings in room WB 1017 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. every other Monday.”
At the moment, SGA is looking to expand. Reed says that this semester, the organization gained four new members, with a total of 21 members now involved. “SGA has actively focused on recruiting efforts to gather more student input on campus,” Reed said.
“I truly believe that with student participation, SGA can be an association that solves many issues on campus,” Rojas-Banda said. “I hope that as time passes students continue to build off the progress of previous SGA leadership and are able to help all of our students.”
“I love and promote the idea of allyship so much. I think education is key, and that comes with dialogue, and comradery, and friendship,” says Quinn Simmons, a sophmore musical theatre major. “A community formed from mutual respect in an environment like SGA gives everyone new perspectives on experiences outside of their own. That’s how we grow and move to lift up the LGBTQ+ voices that have been silenced for so long.”
Roosevelt’s SGA is only as effective as the student body is engaged. However, the clear goal-oriented approach that Rojas-Banda and his team are taking showcases that there will always be people who are concerned with and advocate for the rights of students in the university.