SGA gives students a voice among university administration

SGA gives students a voice among university administration

The Student Government Association (SGA) allows USC Aiken students who are elected by their peers to hear, interpret and support the needs of the student body.

Secretary Q'Ladrin Qourters joined the organization during her freshman year, winning the election for her current position a year later. Her interest in SGA stemmed from a desire to serve the community, and though lacking experience in student government, she says that she “automatically loved it.”

Qourters worked closely this summer with other new executive members of SGA on a school spirit project that she eagerly promotes: USCA Mondays. The weekly event promotes wearing USC Aiken apparel and colors to “proudly become known as a Pacer.”

Student body president, Brandon Eberl urges “Pacer pride” daily on social media with posts tagged #PacerNation and #WeArePacers. His contagious enthusiasm sparked a visible rise in school spirit, with many students wearing red and blue on campus each Monday.

According to the SGA page on the USC Aiken website, SGA is “here to hear your issues and resolve them to the best of our (sic) ability.”

The executive members of SGA showed their dedication to this sentiment with the opening of 16 gender-neutral bathrooms throughout campus. After receiving many complaints from transgender and gender-nonconforming students about the only one on campus, SGA responded by working with USC Aiken’s administration to guarantee gender-sensitive inclusion.

The staff advisor for SGA, Ahmed Samaha said, “The Senators are dedicated to making USCA the best it can be for students. This year’s group is an outstanding group of leaders, and I believe it is going to be a terrific year.”

This week, the USCA Student Life page on Facebook was full of activity when students posted about their struggle to find parking on-campus. Graham Adams published a post that later received 23 comments and 122 reactions from students who seemed to agree with his sentiments.

“Parking is getting a little ridiculous on campus,” declared Adams. “I show up 15 minutes early to class just to TRY to find parking.”

Laurel Adams quickly tagged Eberl in a comment, to which he responded the same day. In this comment, followed by a separate post published later, he assured students that SGA would “investigate what can be done to further help to resolve any problems or concerns at that time.”

Regarding campus diversity issues, Qourters recalled the on-going issue of dividing the responsibilities of the Diversity Initiatives Senator. The position currently demands the senator be accountable for both the International Program and the Diversity Initiative Program, which Qourters suggested may be too much for one student to handle.

“…Because those are two large focuses for SGA on our campus we really want to have two separate senators,” said Qourters, “so that way they can get their individual needs met.”

She said the issue will be resolved once SGA receives approval for the separation of the different programs into two senate positions.

Qourters remarked that student government is “a way to involve yourself in the campus and try to help make change.”  

Gallery includes photos of students wearing their Pacer gear in order to show school spirit on USCA Monday.

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