Spring Hill College’s Student Government Association has plenty of initiatives to tackle this school year, and its main focus is on improving communication with students. “SGA has been running full speed ahead to begin working on several initiatives and ideas that students have brought to us and that we've brainstormed ourselves,” SGA President Dylan Mire said in an interview last week. “The largest overarching initiative that SGA is working on is improving communication with students about both SGA's functions and the functions of the school,” he continued.
SGA has been using multiple platforms of communication, both social media and in person, to communicate with students. Press Secretary Katy Rasp runs the SGA social media pages to keep students up to date. Mire says Rasp is doing a good job running this platform: “She has been hard at work utilizing our Instagram (@shcsga) and Facebook (@shcsga) to post updates for students to see about changes that occur in the school as well as highlighting things like facility hours at Einstein's, McKinney's, and the Recreation Center.” Rasp says that social media is a great way for students to stay updated and connected. “This year we really started to utilize the ‘My Story’ feature on Instagram, which has proven to be very successful thus far in getting information out,” Rasp said. “On Thursdays, we post a story with the answer to a frequently asked question (FAQ) concerning different topics submitted by students. In these FAQ posts, we also include a question box so viewers can submit their own questions as well. This is great for students because it gives them a direct channel to submit their questions or concerns,” she continued. Rasp also says that SGA values the students and it encourages feedback: “We value the ideas and opinions of students and we want to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on with not only SGA but the Spring Hill College community as well.”
Sophomore Senator Lucia Reyes is focusing on communicating with students in person. “An initiative that I am personally working on has to do a lot with visibility so the students understand who the SGA members are for their grade and what they’re working on and why they’re working on it,” Reyes said while running her weekly Caf Chat in the Barter Student Center. These SGA Caf Chats allow students to ask questions about what is going on around campus and allow them to make suggestions. “I sit in the back of the cafeteria every Thursday during common hour. I just take on feedback from the students, and that could be about anything that they’d like to work on,” she continued. “We’ve actually had a ton of feedback. For example, this is where our workout initiatives have come from. They’re little things, and so that’s what we’re trying to work on now, working towards specific things.” Reyes looks forward to each Thursday and says that the Caf Chats have been successful: “My initiative specifically works on visibility and the students having access to us more easily and having a face to the student government for all of us. You’ll see senators sitting in the back of the cafeteria every Thursday because of that initiative.”
Reyes also encourages the students to visit the SGA website (https://shcsga.wixsite.com/shcsga). “If you go to our website, there is a list of all of our initiatives that we are currently working on,” she said. Along with viewing current initiatives, students are also able to send messages on the website and view SGA senators and its cabinet. Each senator and cabinet member’s email is available on the website if a student would like to contact a specific person. Students can also read FAQs under the website’s “FAQ” tab. Reyes believes that a stronger connection with students is vital: “I think more than anything the success of it is just more visibility for our SGA and more transparency for our SGA, which I think is really important when trying to create honest connections and collaborations so that they [the students] know who we are and they can come to us for anything that they need. We are listening and we are here for them to talk to.”