SGA Makes Changes to Improve Communication with Students

President Martina Monroe and Vice President Aidan Pearl discuss updates.


Campus photo by Haley Seymour (’23).

Champlain’s Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a forum on Nov. 2 to explain and accept questions from students regarding several updates to their overall processes and governing documents.

These updates included: increasing the number of student representatives by year, reducing the semester requirements for a student to be eligible for a position in the Cabinet, and adding the Diversity Committee and outlining expectations for this committee. 

Before these changes, the second, third, and fourth year classes each held two representatives on SGA. These classes will now get an extra representative, totaling three each. President Martina Monroe (‘23) attributes this change to growing enrollment at Champlain.

“We feel like the more representatives we can get for a class or a division is always better, because we like to have diverse opinions and diverse viewpoints,” Monroe said.

In regards to eligibility for positions on the Cabinet, they previously have required a student to be on Champlain’s campus for at least three semesters and been a member of SGA for two. The semester requirement is now being dropped to two semesters at the college and there is not a requirement for length of time on the SGA staff.

As for the installation of the Diversity Committee, it already existed but was not directly named in the association’s bylaws. Monroe explained that each director has a committee; the Finance Director has their own committee, for example, for when it comes to club budgets. The Diversity Committee will serve multiple purposes: reviewing the diversity handbook, performing diversity training, and hosting events to showcase diversity on campus. They will also work with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of International Student Services, the Women’s and Gender Center, and other groups on campus to support diversity and inclusion efforts.

The Diversity Committee will be composed of five members of both SGA and the Champlain community.

Monroe also mentioned that she hopes to install a wellbeing committee to assist SGA’s Wellbeing Director.

In the overall email to students, Monroe expressed that one of the association’s main goals for the 2022-2023 school year is to “improve communication between students and the SGA.”

Monroe explained that one example for this lack of communication occurred during the 2021-2022 school year when students began to find out about the removal of Wellness Wednesdays. Wellness Wednesdays were initially added to students’ schedules in fall 2020 to provide students with more time for mental and physical wellness in the middle of the week. This schedule changed for the 2022-2023 school year because of increased demand for classes due to higher enrollment. The miscommunication occurred when SGA’s administration knew about these changes but were told not to share information with the House of Representatives within SGA.

Monroe explained, “when the House [representatives] found out about this, they were obviously upset, as they should be. I personally feel like if SGA is aware of something big, that big of a change, they should be letting the student body know.”

She added that one thing SGA is being more transparent about this year is club budgets and general finances. Vice President Aidan Pearl (‘23) confirmed that the overall budget for clubs decreased since the last school year, allotting SGA with $40 thousand to distribute. Pearl explained that this budget was “unfortunately a lot smaller” than the $45 thousand they had last year.

“It could be the result of us not spending all of it, which is usually the result of clubs not spending all their money,” Pearl said. “But we don’t know what necessarily caused our decrease.”

Monroe said that students who want to know more about SGA, their budget, and their processes are welcome to sign up for their office hours or send an email with questions.