Reinhardt University’s Student Government Association (SGA) kicked off the academic year with the SGA Retreat earlier this month. Following the election of the student senate, the senators and executive board met for an evening of professional development with speaker Dave Kelly.
“Dave Kelly is one of America’s leading student leadership educators and community service advocates,” says Walter May, Ph.D., dean of students. “He is also an expert on student governance. Dave facilitates workshops that help students develop effective leadership skills as they fulfill their roles as student leaders.”
More than twenty students attended the retreat, representing all areas of campus. Senate members were sworn into their roles and presented with models to effectively lead and operate SGA, so they can be the best, most informed advocates for their peers. According to senior Tyler Ingram, student body president, important topics included parliamentary procedures (the rules governing meetings), how to organize and run meetings, and how to engage in civil conversations. “We learned how to ensure that all student voices are heard in a timely, respectful manner,” says Ingram.
Ingram describes SGA as a “positive force for change” on Reinhardt’s campus. “We see great potential and we are learning different ways to make change happen. We are listening to what students want and making impactful decisions that are beneficial for the student body.”
Listening makes a difference! Throughout the past year, SGA accomplished several significant project goals on campus. The organization replaced existing water fountains across campus with refillable water stations, collaborated with Northside Hospital Fitness Center to obtain new equipment, and partnered with Residence Life and National Management Resources to renovate Roberts Hall.
Ideas are already underway for the current year. Ingram says SGA is collaborating with Student Affairs and Athletics to “establish a new vision for the existing tennis court complex. We are thinking about the student population over the next five, 10, and 15 years and how we can adjust our recreational offerings to account for student demographics and the non-traditional recreation user.” Additional projects also include an audit of vending machines to determine needs and potential expansion opportunities, and working with the City of Waleska and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to install a crosswalk with flashing light across Highway 108 by the Red Sea Church parking to access the Price School of Education.