North Texas Daily

SGA enters the new year with no agenda but big goals

SGA enters the new year with no agenda but big goals

January 18
17:18 2017

Keoni Holoman | Staff Writer

SGA will enter the new year with big goals for the student body, including hopes to increase their outreach and strengthen ties with student media.

“There’s really no set agenda that we’ve really come up with, it’s basically based on what type of legislation the senators submit,” SGA president Grant Hale said. “It’s very much driven by them and what they want to do for the students.“

Hale said he felt SGA remained a mild presence among the student body and an unconnected information resource for the North Texas Daily. He’s not alone.

College of business senator Teresa Aguayo feels that communication with the student body, particularly the Daily, has previously been difficult to manage. She believes building a better relationship with the Daily would also better address the student body’s concerns.

Other top members of SGA also feel they have a broken relationship with the university’s student newspaper and they aim to address that this year. It is Hale’s top priority.

“In the past, SGA has not done a very good job of reaching out to the student body and have been perceived as not having a good relationship with the Daily,” Hale said. “Since my freshman year, I have wanted to move the organization away from that, become more professional and provide more opportunities for students to get involved.”

While the rest of the executive branch have policy ideas prepared for the campus and students this semester, the group agrees to focus on the organization’s transparency.

“I think having a great relationship with the student body is very important,” Peyton Paige-Sennet, college of arts and science senator, said. “Without them, our job would be really hard because we are here simply to serve them and be their voice.”

SGA’s relationship-building initiative stems from its need to build further reliability on campus and gather more student participation in voting and legislation practices. The senators feel that by reforming their relationship with the press, the student body will participate more.

“Something not too many people know is that any student can draft and come up with a piece of legislation or bring an issue up to SGA that they want us to look into more or help work to remedy,” Hale said. “We don’t see that too much.”

According to Hale, SGA would like to see continued improvement in its upcoming election as the organization hit a record high of over 10 percent undergraduate voting.

To keep the numbers up, the senators plan to strengthen their outreach to the students, making sure they know what is going on behind Senate doors.

“I try to help achieve this goal by inviting friends and many UNT students to our meetings and events so they can see first-hand what we’re doing to make UNT an even better place,“ Jesse Hawkins, college of arts and sciences senator, said.

Hale has similar goals and wants to see more people at meetings.

“I am open to meet with the Daily, have open town meetings and reemphasize that our senate meetings are open to everybody on Wednesdays if they want to see what’s going on in SGA,” Hale said.

Besides transparency for SGA as a whole, the senators have individual goals that they will press for in this legislative session. Priorities for senators are security, parking and new program opportunities.

“I’m looking forward to working on legislation involving UNT’s facilities, security and parking this semester,” Hawkins said. “I believe these are some of the contentions UNT faces as we continue to build towards being a prominent university.“

For the new majors that were added to the catalog this year, SGA hopes to give them as many opportunities as more established degree plans.

“This semester I will be communicating with the college of education about new program opportunities for our new interdisciplinary studies majors,” said Belokin. “I want to ensure our students are learning high-quality techniques that are applicable to their fields.”

Featured Image: File Photo

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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