#SGyAy: What to expect this year

The Student Government Association is supposed to be a student governed body to serve as a communicating branch between UTM scholars and administrators. However, students at UTM often neglect to see the ways in which SGA can and should benefit them. Whether they may be blind to the leadership opportunities it provides or to the availability of their college’s senators for problem-solving, the student body has not always utilized SGA to their fullest potential.

The entirety of the election for the 66th General Assembly shows the lack of student involvement, with only one position officially being contested. The College of Business and Global Affairs had five senators running for four positions. Every other college had either the exact number of people running, if not less. There was also a rather controversial write-in campaign for the position of Attorney General, however with only one name written on the ballot, the vote was solidified.

Pacer editor and SGA Correspondent Rachel Moore, spoke with Jordan Long, the 66th General Assembly’s President, about his goals for this year and his term in office. Long ran unopposed in April with Breydon Horton and Holly Seng in his cabinet. He is a junior, political science major from Martin and ran a campaign based around transparency and the pursuance of long-term goals for UTM’s distant future.

Long understands that his time in office may be short, but he still believes in the ability to leave a lasting impact and achieve the goals of the assembly while he’s here. He hopes to become a better and stronger personal liaison between the administration, university committees and students.

Several pieces of legislation were left unpursued during the 65th General Assembly, and other bills left with questions and holes to fill. The new president plans to look into these further, one bill which may discuss an option that attempts to lower the price of parking passes, and another which is being referred to as a “Green Fee.”

This fee was mentioned during the student surveys which were taken online during the end of last semester. A “Green Fee” would be implemented to create better sustainability at UTM and Long hopes to spend personal time researching ways to progress this possibility and bring it to life.

Last year, Long was a fundamental piece in the implementation of the Skyhawks Share program, which created a food bank of swipes in the cafeteria for students in need. Long plans to continue his work with that program as well as working with others in the 66th General Assembly to tackle issues that lie in Student Life and with academic affordability.

Long and his cabinet look forward to a fresh year at UTM and the hard-working leaders coming into the program. His campaign ran on a platform that emphasized transparency and he plans to maintain that by continuing to post minutes from meetings on the SGA OrgSync page to keep students informed.

Every student at UTM is a member of SGA and all meetings are open to the public. Senate meetings are scheduled for every other Thursday evening at 9 p.m. in the Legislative Chambers, UC room 111. You can also follow The Pacer online edition for updates and email questions/ concerns to Jordan Long at sga1@utm.edu, Breydon Horton at sga2@utm.edu or Holly Seng at sga3@utm.edu.

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