By Shannon Nia Alomar
Last Tuesday, the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted their annual meet-and-greet with representatives of the numerous clubs on Hofstra’s campus. The meeting usually calls for all of the present-bodied students to sit in the Student Center Theater while the SGA cabinet members explain a variety of how-tos, rules, contact information and other essential knowledge. However, this semester the new council of SGA decided to implement some changes.
After the students settled into their seats, the cabinet introduced themselves and SGA President Mark Atkinson began to communicate the three major focuses of SGA as a whole: creating community amongst the student organizations, allocating funding to SGA sponsored clubs fairly and being advocates for students and addressing their concerns.
“We want the club leaders to know that [SGA] are students just like them. Our biggest focus is to serve the students of Hofstra and figure out a way to reach clubs and the student body overall. We are called SGA for a reason, the students always come first,” Atkinson said.
Rose Tirotta, Computing Services Coordinator of Learning Support, attended all meetings and provided information about how computing services could assist student clubs and organizations.
Tirotta mentioned that, in particular, they will help clubs with CollegiateLink and learning how to use software such as Photoshop to create promotional materials. Also, they are looking to grant clubs access to card swipes at their events in order to help keep a digital record of who was in attendance.
Unlike previous years, there were breakout sessions in separate rooms for treasurers, presidents, clubs and organizations that belonged to specific categories including: academic, pre-professional, multicultural, political, religious, honor societies, sports, community service, fraternities, media, performance, politically/socially active and social.
Within these sessions, cabinet members addressed topics that specifically applied to a particular role or grouping.
The treasurers spent time with SGA comptroller Alyson Guarino, who went over the new-and-improved “treasurer package,” which includes a new digital component to help clubs track their budgets. At the same time, presidents were given an opportunity to voice their concerns to Atkinson, Vice President Nicole Olson and Club Relations Chair Alexandra Engelson.
At the end of the sessions, cabinet members including Programming Board Chair Whitney Shepard, Public Relations Chair Shabieko Ivy, Rules Chair Aleksey Babadzhanov, Spirit Chair Sarah Harris and Appropriations Chair Damien Gallagher switched rooms in order to provide additional information to all attendees about their roles and give any personal announcements.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Gabriella Munoz, junior computer science major and Entertainment Unlimited president, said that although the breakout sessions added to the length of the meeting, she was impressed by some of the changes the “new SGA” is trying to start.
“In a big room people get lost and distracted, but the session gave us a chance to stay focused and share our thoughts. I’m happy about the calendar including everyone’s events digitally. If it’s actually shared, I think it will be a great tool,” Munoz said.