Student Government: an insight into how it runs

in Opinion by

This last Thursday, Saint Cloud State’s Student Government, led by President Mikaela Johnson, held a meeting with the entire student government at SCSU. I had the pleasure of attending this meeting and finding out more about how they work.

Student Government holds their meetings every Thursday at 5 PM in the Cascade room on the second floor of the Atwood Memorial Center. All of the senators, chairs, along with President Johnson and Vice President Randy Olson were seated around the room in a horseshoe shape for this meeting. Student Government is an integral part of this university and is the best way to make a difference as a student here, so I was very intrigued to see how a meeting is run.

The meeting started off with students who applied for an at-large position on student government. Each student was given two minutes to give a statement bolstering their credibility for a position. Senators were able to ask questions of the candidates. Many of the questions were about how these students could best represent students in their respective divisions.

Others asked what the candidates might want to change at Saint Cloud State University, or what leadership qualities and experience they have. I thought it was very interesting how many students there were from Nepal. It was very cool to see international students take such an interest in helping, even though they may not be making a permanent residence here.

When the students were done making their presentations, they were asked to leave the room so the government could deliberate. It was so cool seeing students go up and show their passion in the university and making it better.

When all of the students were done, the senators were allowed to raise their hand and either give reasons to recommend or deny the candidates. They all had pieces of paper on which they would take the vote, and then the votes were counted up, the students were brought back in, and the elected positions were announced.

It was so cool to see the students that were named light up when their names were announced. There was a student that had tried twice before to get into Student Government but had been denied, and when he was named to one of the positions – his happiness was contagious.

Next, the government and cabinet discussed a various number of different issues. For a while, they discussed multiple revisions to SCSU’s constitution. For the most part, it was clarifications that they were putting in place.

Another issue discussed was funding for the SCSU Officials Club as well as the GLBTA Alliance club, and it was approved by the government. One part of the meeting I found interesting was when one of the senators came up and presented a request to Students United for clarification on multiple things. The information was included, but not limited to: conflict of interest policy, bank statement ledgers, and multiple other policy and funds clarifications. It made me happy that our government is pressing hard for issues that involve the students.

Student Government is an incredibly effective way to get involved and give back to the community we have here at Saint Cloud State University. They do their jobs with pride, and I truly believe that they want to make Saint Cloud a better place.

If you have an interest in getting the issues that you and your friends truly care about changed, join and make a difference. You can contact Student Government at 320-308-3751 if you are interested in getting involved.

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