Inside look at the members of SGA

Hannah Sayre, Reporter

From the outside looking into the Marshall University Student Government Association, not many people realize the time and effort students put into the organization that makes decisions for their benefit.

SGA is made up of three branches: the executive branch, under the Waugaman/Mangus Administration; the student senate, under the president pro tempore, Justyn Cox and the senate apprenticeship program.

Each administration chooses his or her cabinet and may have as few or many positions as they choose. Many of these cabinet picks are experienced senators, but not all.

Holland Miller, SGA business manager, said this is his first year being involved with SGA.

“I came into office last spring as a part of the executive staff,” Miller said. “My role is to make sure we have the financial stability and liquidity to fund SGA as a whole. In addition, I make sure that our student organizations have an outlet for funding and to ensure activities benefiting the students are made achievable from a financial stand point.”

Miller said he likes to align himself with energetic, motivated people.

“I strongly believe that students who make an effort to be involved around campus see our impact,” Miller said. “Ideally, you want everyone to love everything we do as SGA executives, but that’s just not possible. I think as long as you show up and fight the good fight, and do everything with the well-being of fellow students in mind, then that’s all you can do. The rest of the pieces will hopefully fall in place.”

To be a senator of SGA, students can apply for a seat each spring semester. There are senators of each college and senators at large. The Senate meets every Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Kate Wright is the senator for the graduate college, pursuing degrees in history and public administration. She did her undergraduate studies here at Marshall and graduated in 2013.

“I ran for senator of the graduate college in the spring of last year and truly had no expectations,” Wright said. “Now I am on two committees, campus life and finance. They have given me more perspective of the university than I previously had. The diverse amount of student organizations requesting money allows me and my fellow senators to see how many organizations we have, how diverse we are, and learn something greater about Marshall and its reach in the community.”

Wright said she wishes everyone could have the experience she has had because it has grown her love for Marshall University tremendously. It has also allowed her to leave Marshall in a better state than when she arrived.

Junior Caleb Murray, college of education senator, said SGA has done wonderful things this semester, and he is lucky to have had the chance to be part of many decisions with the finance committee. However, he also said he has been disappointed with the lack of participation in the general senate.

Murray also said he is pleased with how the executive branch has functioned this semester and encourages students to engage with their senators.

“I’m very satisfied with the way the SGA executive has led this semester,” Murray said. “I started off kind of rough, but my passion for the organization and its duties have grown immensely. I am very excited to continue serving and I would encourage everyone to find out who their representatives are and to express any ideas or concerns. We do this for the student body.”

The purpose of the senate apprenticeship program is to serve as a development opportunity for leadership for first year students. Senate apprentices shadow a senator and learn the ins-and-outs of SGA.

Freshman apprentice Jenna Adkins stumbled upon SGA accidentally after becoming good friends with one of the executive staff, who walked her through SGA procedures and showed her the responsibilities the orginization entails.

“As an apprentice, I have been working close with the finance committee,” Adkins said. “I am enjoying learning about Marshall’s various student organizations and writing bills that will help fund their philanthropic events. Being on SGA will also put my passion for politics to good use. I love the atmosphere of SGA and I have made some of my best and most reliable friends because of it.”

Freshman apprentice Matthew Jarvis said he decided to join SGA because he was very involved in high school.

“I thought it would be a good idea to become involved on campus and make friends,” Jarvis said. “I was immediately welcomed in with open arms and smiling faces. The senate treasurer, Jordan Fanelli, had faith in me and took me on as his apprentice and began to show me how the finance committee of SGA worked. Because of Jordan, I received a crash course on how the finance committee worked and was immediately put to work.”

Jarvis said his favorite part about being in SGA, however, is seeing the faces of the members within student organizations who receive funding. He said it is such a great feeling knowing he contributes to the success of other student groups on Marshall’s campus.

Hannah Sayre can be contacted at [email protected].