Until 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4, Tech freshmen will be able to apply for candidacy in the Student Government Association’s (SGA) freshman representatives elections. The new freshman class will elect four representatives to SGA’s undergraduate legislative branch from Sept. 11-16.
The elected freshmen representatives serve with 53 other representatives from majors/schools, athletics, co-op participants and the other classes to discuss matters concerning the student body’s welfare. This may include passing resolutions expressing the general opinion on an important subject or determining the allocation of funds to student organizations. This year, the SGA’s coffers amount to over $3 million – collected as the $118 student activity fee paid by every student upon enrollment – about 90% of which is distributed to student clubs and teams for normal operation.
Another task of the student representative concerns the remaining 10% of the funds: discussing and voting on student-submitted bills. These bills are most often to fund additional projects or other financial requests by student organizations.
“The main responsibility of a representative in SGA’s Undergraduate House of Representatives is to discuss bills each Tuesday night,” said SGA elections chair Mike Donohue, “But their duties go far beyond that once a week commitment.”
These duties may be most important to the freshmen: the chance to voice their concerns and suggestions to the SGA via their representatives. Furthermore, if the representatives choose to sit on SGA committees, freshmen have an additional link to affecting policies in those committees’ spheres like campus transportation, development of off-campus areas and academic affairs.
“A good representative,” Donohue said, “is one who is eager to help his or her constituents, is willing to creatively find solutions to problems and is able to effectively communicate his or her positions to other representatives.”
Freshmen still have time to more to apply as a candidate to represent the class of 2013. All applications are due by Friday, Sept. 4 to the SGA office in the Student Center Commons across from Einstein’s Bagels.
“I can offer this advice to candidates: think outside the box,” Donohue said.
“We have a fairly flexible set of rules in which you can work, so be creative with the ways you get your name out. Come out with one or two things you really want to do in SGA, and make that the cornerstone of your campaign. And don’t give up,” Donohue said.
After the week-long campaigning ends, students vote in their 53 representatives Sept. 11-16 at elections.gatech.edu.
“Having freshman representatives elected by freshmen is a brand new thing for Tech, so this group of representatives is going to set the tone for years to come. I think that these representatives have an amazing chance to really help communicate to their class what SGA does and help their classmates to take advantage of everything that SGA can offer,” Donohue said.