At the Illinois Tech Student Government Association (SGA) senate hearing on Wednesday, April 11, the organization officially announced its new executive board for the 2018-2019 academic year. As the leaders of SGA, the executive board represents the clearest and most direct method for the Illinois Tech student body to connect with the university’s administration and make any concerns known. Under the leadership of President Eric Scott, Executive Vice President Monica Bhagavan, Finance Board Chair Jorge Morin, Vice President of Academic Affairs Erin Nelson, Vice President of Communications Narkis Garcia, and Vice President of Student Life Lin Abu-Amara, SGA will hopefully continue to increase its overall transparency and ability to translate the concerns of students into actionable changes in the university.
President Eric Scott is in his second year of mechanical engineering, and he based his campaign for SGA president around a promise that he will be relentless in the work he will put into the position. From forging individual connections with student organizations to knowing when he should let the consensus of the campus make decisions for him, Scott has thus far conveyed a very holistic approach to how he will lead SGA, allowing his experience and his tirelessness to bring him towards maximum transparency and efficiency.
Along those same lines of efficiency, Executive Vice President Monica Bhagavan very heavily stressed optimization of senate hearings during her campaign. As an experienced student senator herself, she claimed that she sees numerous ways to “streamline the senate process, as well as make the internal finance portions of the organization more effective.” Drawing from her experiences both with SGA and with other student organizations (such as the American Medical Students Association), Bhagavan promises to bring some much-needed expediency and openness to SGA’s senate.
As the new Finance Board Chair, Jorge Morin demonstrated a strong understanding of the organization’s guidelines for distributing the Student Activity Fund (SAF) to all Illinois Tech student organizations. As with the rest of the new board, Morin has also gone on record to promise an increased level of transparency with Finance Board decisions.
In an interview with TechNews, Vice President of Academic Affairs Erin Nelson stated that her “plan for the first weeks of next semester in SGA is to accomplish two main things. I want to really work with Undergraduate Academic Affairs to make the advising process go smoother for students. Second I want to attract more students to SGA’s Senate and my committee in Academic Affairs, particularly.”
Similarly, the Vice President of Communications, Narkis Garcia told TechNews his beliefs that “organizations play a vital role in the Illinois Tech community and SGA. During my term as Vice President of Communications I will be striving to continue the work of the current (very fast) VP, Nathan Cooper Jones, in increasing organizational quality and engagement on campus.”
Finally, Vice President of Student Life Lin Abu-Amara laid out her overarching goal as “to reach out to all students to create a more lively and inclusive campus. My focus will be mainly on current issues with campus services and accommodations. As for SGA, I want to see our committees collaborate more to improve the organizational life on campus. At the end of the day, we’re all one team and our main mission is one!”
Once more, only time will tell how effective this new cadre of SGA executive members will be at carrying out their duties and promises. We at TechNews will continue to do our part to ensure that all SGA actions and initiatives receive the attention they require in our print and digital mediums.