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Park Student Government Association looks forward to the year ahead

Abby Jeans, Editor

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The first week of September marked the annual Park Student Government Association election for freshman and upperclassman senators. With five new members on board, PSGA looks forward to the year ahead.

Jesse Patrick, junior computer science major and PSGA president, said he sees great opportunities with the newly-elected senators.

“I feel like they have a lot of potential,” said Patrick. “It also makes our group more diverse which is good for the senate.”

While PSGA officers and senators work together, the organization is made up of small committees. These committees include research and development, environment, student life, tech fee, bylaws and budget.

Sarah Zitter, senior international relations major and PSGA secretary, is especially excited to get the new members plugged in with their committees.

“It’s really cool that we work as a group as a whole, but then we have smaller committees,” said Zitter. “Even within the group it still gets narrowed down to what people are really able to bring to the table which is super cool because we get to utilize everyone’s different talents and interests.”

Before joining their committee, PSGA members choose two areas they are most interested in. From there the executive board decides where each member will best fit.

Students who are not PSGA senators also have the opportunity to join these committees.

“If there is an area that interests students they can still take part in the committee without being a part of PSGA,” said Zitter. “So if a student is interested in environmental issues on campus they can come and be a part of the meetings that the environmental committee holds and be involved in the different projects and events they put on.”

As a whole, the organization is really focusing on student involvement and defining what PSGA is. This is something Patrick is passionate about and looks forward to working on this year.

“We are trying to make people understand what PSGA is here for,” said Patirck. “In the past we have been mistaken for the Park Student Activities Board, so we are really trying to make that definition and help students understand that we are here to be the students’ voice to the university.”

PSGA also helps to provide funding for different clubs and organizations. In the past they have helped clubs host events and provide the funds to go to conferences.

A long-term project that has been in discussion by PSGA involves bringing renewable energy to Park, starting with the newly renovated McCoy Meetin’ House.

“We would be using solar panels to create energy rather than using KC Power and Light to get electricity,” said Patrick. “We might start the process, but it will probably take some time to get this project going.”

 

The organization is also focusing on smaller projects including the accessibility of PSGA to more non-traditional students. Zitter believes the students who are most involved live on campus because they are more aware of what is going on.

“We are here to represent the entire student body, so we want to hold more town halls, surveys and events that would reach out to people who might only have classes in a certain area on campus, or live off campus, or even ones who don’t fit the traditional age range, and still show them what we have to offer is still valuable to them and their education here at Park,” said Zitter.

This outreach to non-traditional students follows Patrick’s goal of getting students involved and breaking the habit of just showing up and doing school work.

“We want to break that mold,” said Patrick. “I’d rather students come and interact with other students and make connections that they might not have been able to if they didn’t reach out outside the classroom. We’re going to try the best we can to have a more connected student body.”

Zitter also encourages students to get involved:

“We are only as successful as the student body allows us to be. The more needs that you express to us, the more work we can do to try to help.”

Get involved by joining PSGA on September 27 at 3 p.m. in the McCoy Meetin’ House for a town hall meeting. President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., will be at the meeting sharing his plans for the 2018-2019 school year and chatting with students.

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Student newspaper of Park University
Park Student Government Association looks forward to the year ahead