Student Government Association looks to increase student input with recent Improve Trinity Week

Last week, Trinity’s Student Government Association (SGA) held its first annual Improve Trinity Week.  The week consisted of five events, including an informal session for meeting the student government Senators with s’mores and a sponsored Super Nacho Hour, a Diversity Dialogue hosted by Trinity Diversity Connection and Trinity Women in Science and Technology, the Student Programming Board’s Movie in Mabee, and Residential Life’s First Friday Breakfast for junior and senior students.

“[SGA was] pleased with the turn-out for the events, especially considering this is our first Improve Trinity week. We hope to expand on the events next year and plan to continue to host events for students to meet their Senators and voice their opinions.  We plan to make Improve Trinity week an annual event and we hope to build on the event in the coming years,” said Brenna Hill, junior and SGA president.

“At the Campus Master Plan student forum, students were able to provide feedback on the university’s Master Plan which includes future building reservations, housing and on-campus apartment options and future dining options,” Hill said.

When asked whether these suggested improvements and discussions would have changed the decision to live off-campus, senior Hannah Clark said, “dining hasn’t changed that much.  It’s better, but not that much.  I would consider living on campus again for a semester, but I don’t want to mostly because I wouldn’t have a kitchen”¦[it] doesn’t make me want to be on campus any more than I already do.”

“During [the] informal events with senators, students discussed a variety of issues that SGA has been working on, including campus racial climate, dining, campus drinking culture and sexual assault and the tobacco-free campus initiative,” said Hill.

Trinity University’s Dean of Students, David Tuttle, who is the advisor for the Student Government Association said, “I think one of the things student government is doing this semester particularly well is that they’re being really visible and engaged with students, whether that’s through the white board [in Coates] or the newsletter or the events of last week.”

Dean Tuttle said that students should give SGA policies time to take effect before they pass judgment.

“You have to look at the cumulative effect of their presence.  It’s too soon to measure what the impact has been, but I love the direction that they’re headed in.  I think students know more about the organization, who’s in the organization, and what the organization is up to,” said Tuttle.

Tuttle also mentioned the Student Government Association’s having “taken leadership on things like the Snapchat post and diversity programs” as something to take into account as a measure of the organizations success.

“I thought this week was a really good way to pull some things together for them to make a splash on campus and to increase their visibility and their reach,” Tuttle said.

Improve Trinity Week was intended to increase student input on student centered issues. It is part of SGA’s active work in connecting with the students they represent.

“The week was meant to serve as a means of gathering student input on campus issues as well as a chance for students to meet their SGA representatives. We know that many students are unsure of what SGA does and what SGA can do for students,” said Hill.