Mon04192021

Last updateWed, 14 Apr 2021 11am

Club & Greek

Student Government Association: Making a Difference

Student GovernmentThe Student Government Association is facing adversity, such as gathering limitations, in light of the social distancing guidelines placed on extracurricular activities this semester.

The Student Government Association is still functioning even through the highs and lows of COVID-19 regulations. They have been meeting once a week via Zoom throughout the semester. They are still meeting at their regularly scheduled time at 2:45pm on Wednesdays. SGA President Naser Haroon said, “We will continue to do so until it is safe to have in person gatherings.”

One major change happening to the organization has been its inability to host its wide range of events that they normally put on throughout the semester. SGA’s Director of Student Affairs, Cameron Gaines said, “We usually do significant programming and have been unable to because certain things just can’t take place virtually. We have postponed our part in Homecoming and our day of community service, the Big Event.”

According to Haroon, the SGA is planning to have their postponed events towards the end of the upcoming spring semester if restrictions allow it. The problem, he feels, is that these events usually draw in large gatherings.

Members of the SGA Executive Board pointed towards organizational challenges with communication. When discussing her position, Gaines said, “I hope to communicate with as many students as possible, but not being able to physically invite them to our meetings makes it difficult.”

Haroon agreed, “The biggest challenge has been engaging with one another as an organization. Not being able to do in person meetings and events is definitely the biggest factor.”

Things that are being done to combat this issue include reaching out to members.

Gaines said, “Two of the committee chairs I oversee made emails for students to communicate their specific issues with us.”

An idea that SGA Vice President Jenna Lee came up with is having a lunch with small groups comprised of members. “For example, one day go out and have a lunch with one committee and catch up on all they’re doing. This will give us the same face-to-face experience while avoiding big social gatherings,” said Haroon.

Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement Mary Anne Nagy said that she regularly meets with Haroon to address any concerns the organization has. “Sometimes we meet via Zoom, but honestly sometimes we meet in person. He is 6 feet plus away from me and we are both in masks. It’s what works best for his schedule since he is on campus,” said Nagy.

Lee said, “I feel that the administration is doing a phenomenal job with meeting our needs. Although we all can’t be perfect and not everyone will be happy, the administration has been working a lot behind the scenes along with doing their best with making this semester as smooth as possible.”

The SGA oversees getting students involved on campus. Dr. Vaughn Clay serves as Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services, as well as advisor to SGA. He said, “SGA has been meeting regularly with leaders from the University since we left campus this past March, in an effort to discuss ideas, concerns and opportunities as it relates to the student experience.” He added, “SGA has also taken a lead in communicating with Monmouth students about the need and importance of adhering to the COVID protocols through their social media platforms and through meetings with club and organization leaders.”

One thing that many members agree on is the satisfaction of “The Nest,” or food pantry, located at the Student Center with a few citing it as the organization’s biggest accomplishment this semester. The Nest was established as a way for the SGA to provide for students in need. Clay, Nagy, Haroon, and Gaines all spoke on how the pantry has been operating without interruption.

Gaines said, “Sarah Dill and Elisa Villa are doing an amazing job as the co-chairs of the Nest this year. We have more food than we’ve ever had, more hours, and tons of students!” Hours have been changed to the current schedule of Mondays from 4 to 6 pm and Thursdays from 2 to 4 pm.

The SGA has learned how to adapt to a virtual environment during these unprecedented times. As the spring semester approaches, the SGA is hoping for the best. Clay said, “SGA is definitely looking to the future; however, they are also trying to be realistic and staying focused on the work that they are currently undertaking. Much of what we hope to do in the weeks and months to come will be dictated by what happens with the pandemic.”

 

PHOTO COURTESY of @MonmouthSGA Instagram

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu