SGA: A Semester in Review
Written by Dassi Karp
Our SGA Bureau Chief Dassi Karp summarizes what happened last semester in SGA to start a fresh new semester.
I’m excited for a new semester of Barnard SGA meetings, because who doesn’t love sitting through hours of administrative guests, policy arguments, pointless votes, and occasional discussions of the work that’s actually getting done behind the scenes? Alas, Rep Council has not reconvened yet, so there’s no meeting to cover this week. But that can’t stop us from checking in with our revolutionary Reps! At the end of last semester, SGA released a mid-year report about what they’ve accomplished, and what work they hope to continue this spring. Here are the highlights:
Under the keen guidance of President Angela Beam, SGA greatly improved its meeting structure this semester. Instead of inviting guests at seemingly random intervals to have unproductive discussions, as they have in past years, many Rep Council meetings have centered on bringing together student leaders and administrators to start meaningful discussions that produce actionable items (there were exceptions, of course).
Rep for Food and Dining Services Sarah Broniscer, along with Beam, worked to establish an ad hoc committee on food insecurity. The committee will start its work in the coming weeks, and hopes to find “tangible solutions to combating food insecurities on campus.” This semester, Broniscer was also successful in increasing Barnard dining’s Halal, Kosher, vegan, and allergen-friendly options. That’s a lot of options!
In a move that increased transparency with astonishingly few technical malfunctions, VP Communications Rhea Nagpal spearheaded the decision to livestream all SGA meetings on Facebook. SGA reports an average of 320 views per meeting, which is impressive. I doubt the representativeness of that number (someone needs to only tune in for a few seconds for Facebook to count it as a view), but still. If you combine that number with the number of people who read Bwog’s reporting on meetings, that’s about 322 people who know what’s happening in their student government!
The student academic advisory community, under the brilliant guidance of former Rep for Academic Affairs Shoshana Edelman, worked to increase communication between administration and students about course offerings, major options, and academic diversity. Because of their bizarre handling of appointments at the end of last semester, there is currently no one filling this position. My prediction: SGA will try to spend another few hours of meeting time trying to pull this off at the beginning of next semester. By the time whoever they pick joins the council, the semester will be too far over for any meaningful work to get done. Prove me wrong, SGA–do something reasonable for once.
The Seven Sisters Committee, led by Rep for Seven Sisters Relations Julia Pickel, has a really detailed and complex subcommittee structure. There are almost as many committees as there are Sisters, which is just an impressive feat of bureaucracy.
The class councils did all of the normal class council stuff. There’s been an interesting trend of the first-year class representatives tending to focus on programming and discussions that explicitly center on diversity and inclusion of under-represented groups. This is true to the platforms of both FY President Sara Morales and Vice President Tina Gao, who won their positions in elections with a record-breaking turnout this fall.
To summarize this summary: the SGA did some things, and didn’t do others. Overall, meeting structure and timeliness has improved, though actual results seem similar to past years. So far, I’m generally impressed with our student leaders, who all seem to genuinely want to make Barnard a Better place to Be. Here’s to another semester, SGA. I’ll be watching you.
Check out the report here to learn more about what SGA did last semester.
Vegetables via Bwog Archives
Tags: "extremely productive"?, guess who's back, highlights magazine, I have a class in NoCo this semester it makes me feel powerful, kosher blenders tho, say hello to your friends, sorry not sorry, tag yourself in the report I'm "particularly vocal", there was more stuff i know