The SGA Response to Claims By Guest Writer Meagan WillisBy Sarah Polan • Mar 12th, 2009 • Category: Opinion
As the Student Government Association, it has come to our attention that there are several people who are dissatisfied with the work the SGA does to represent and lead the students of New River Community College. We appreciate the criticism, but in order to make a fair judgment, you must come to view things from our perspective too. The SGA has been running in as many directions with as many interests as there are members to support them. We strive to support the student body in every way we can. There are a few points that an anonymous person, someone who hung several posters suggesting the SGA’s low quality, has voiced about the SGA which I would like to respond to.
The first charge, that the election was influenced by current SGA members, is ludicrous. Students were encouraged to vote by many of the SGA members, and a lack of student votes might better show how disinterested a good portion of the student body is in the actions of the SGA. Each member of the SGA voted and some took their personal laptops out to the students to encourage those students to vote. This action was not meant to be perceived as an attempt to set up the votes in one persons favor, but as a way to encourage the students to vote. Every student who voted had their own opinions for candidates. Many of our opinions differed regarding who was best for the positions available.
The second accusation, that many of the SGA projects are uncompleted, is equally preposterous. Each member of the SGA is required to sponsor a project and complete it to the best of their ability.
- We developed Cans for Gas
- We created the golf team which will be competing in a tournament soon
- We established a weekly survey of student concerns
- New River Chapter of Democrats of America
- We sponsored the Halloween costume contest
- We held a meeting to show the student body our efforts on their behalf, and to accept ideas from them. This meeting was attended only by SGA members and a single Knight Rider reporter
- We began working on a shuttle from the Christiansburg site to the Dublin campus to help students who could not get from one campus to another. This project is still a work in progress but is closer to completion
- We successfully completed 176 cards for troops plus donated $50 for shipping them to our troops overseas
- We began a campus clean up committee to preserve the beauty of the campus
- The existence of this very paper is due to Sarah Polan, a current senator elected by the students
If you would like to see a more complete list, please stop by our office and we would be proud to show you many others. If these are not the projects you think we should do please tell us. We are open to change and would like to better your experience here at New River.
The third accusation, that the SGA does not have enough advisors, is completely untrue. Two faculty members sponsor the SGA, while many clubs have only one advisor. Our advisors are Ben Kramer and Peggy Taylor. Peggy Taylor has been an advisor to the SGA since the year 2000. Ben has been an advisor to the SGA since be began working at New River Community college as the Activities counselor. One advisor is present for each meeting we have. There is no need for more than two advisors to the SGA.
The fourth accusation is that the SGA receives tuition reimbursement for service. When the SGA was initially created by the student body there was no tuition reimbursement for the services given. The fact that the SGA was on a volunteer basis was laudable, and it was soon observed that there was a low completion rate of SGA projects. Due to this it was decided those who finished a project would receive a reward. The President receives the most tuition reimbursement with twelve credits worth per semester, while senators receive only four credits. The difference is due to the amount of work required of each position.
The SGA needs people with strong character and honest opinions. In the end, when the needs or desires you have are not satisfied, can you truly blame those of us who attempted to better the students of New River by doing what we thought would help? To call us out and give no legitimate reasons why we have been so mistreated is a cowardly thing to do. If one wants to make a change, that person should stand up proudly and be the voice of that change.
We are members of the SGA because we want to work to benefit NRCC. We do not claim to fully represent the students, but we do represent and assist students whenever concerns are voiced. The recent poster “voice of the people” is not, this voice is anonymous and illegitimate. However, whoever you are, come the SGA’s mission! We need all the effort our members can provide, and your energy could both invigorate us and propel our organization to its full potential.
~ Secretary Meagan Willis, SGA
About Sarah Polan:
Sarah Polan entered New River Community College in the summer of 2008 at age 16 after being homeschooled her entire life. She had already been a member of the Roanoke Times "Edge" staff for two years at that point. Sarah came to New River with the dream of rebuilding the long forgotten school newspaper and with the help and encouragement of Janet Hanks and the IT staff, the online Knight Rider was born. Sarah has served as editor and contributing writer for three semesters and continues to coordinate and produce the e-paper biweekly. She also edits an on-line national publication for the Boy Scouts of America Southern Region Venturing division and will be contributing an article to the nationally published Scouting magazine blog. She has also provided a student blog post to the student organization VA21. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys traveling in search of her dream college which she will transfer to next year.
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