SGA president gives end-of-semester view

As we approach the end of the semester, from my point of view, I believe it has been a pretty good fall semester. History was made when Barak Obama was elected president of the United States of America and became the first Black president in history. On behalf of the Student Government Association, we wish him good luck and congratulations on the election.The Student Government Association really pushed the elections this semester, and that was one of our main
focuses. Our Voter Empowerment Team has done an amazing job on getting more than 1,400 students registered to vote. We also hosted two watch parties, when Obama made his nomination speech and Election Night.

Also, the Voter Empowerment Team put on a few forums, including one with Jeff Johnson from BET during Homecoming week and a rally on the yard to pump up the hype of the elections. The SGA provided transportation for students who needed a ride to go to the voting polls.

I would like to give a special thanks to Lamark Hughes, Brittany Mitchell, Casel Ford, Remy Smith Lewis, Justin Navarre, and many others who made this election process possible.

After attending a Council of Student Body Presidents (COSBP) meeting, I discovered that we had pushed more students to get registered to vote than any other school in the University of Louisiana System. I feel that is a big accomplishment. We are ending our Voter Empowerment Team journey with providing a trip for students to be in attendance at the Presidential Inauguration in Washington in January.

The SGA is always engaged in a lot of activity and travel during the fall semester, so I feel we did not do enough campus work, with the exception of the Big Event and the Voter Empowerment Team.

In the spring, we have planned many activities to keep the student body healthy. I have been requesting feedback from students via e-mail and Facebook, and most of the complaints that I am getting are things that we already have been tackling.

The transportation has been purchased and will be here at the beginning of the spring. We have been looking for drivers to operate the transportation system in the spring. Also, the golf carts that we purchased will be used to transport students around the campus as well. More information on the cost and how it will operate will be presented to the student body in the spring.

Security is another issue, and we are in the process of getting more officers to be dedicated to their jobs and enforcing RAs to do random room checks for the safety of our students.

By June of 2009, we will have installed an emergency siren and paging system, along with emergency phones all around campus to strengthen campus safety. Four of our academic buildings will have campuswide surveillance cameras installed by Sept. 30. Wireless Internet in residential housing will be installed by June.

Culture Fest will be one of our biggest events next semester. International Affairs director, Dean Julien-Weatherly, will be taking the lead on this project. This will allow the American and international students to have an opportunity to show off their culture among one another, in food, fashion, history, historical items and tools, music, and even a panel discussion.

SGA Week will allow the members to reach out to the students and show exactly what the SGA does around campus and with the aim to bridge the gap between the SGA and other students. We want all students to bond together and let their voices be heard to help make GSU better.

Any other questions, comments, concerns, or complaints? Please feel free to visit the SGA offices upstairs in the Student Union and help make your stay at GSU better.

Upcoming event: SGA Christmas Party, 6 p.m. Friday in the Building 800 classroom with semiformal dress attire.