The State of the Student Body: Fall 2021

By Jacqueline Jedrych

Catholic University’s Student Government Association wrapped up its first semester of the 2021-22 school year, which is slated to be the most productive year on record. The organization has already passed 27 pieces of legislation, rapidly approaching the 2020-2021 annual total of 38 in half the time. 

Student Body President Abby Anger reflected on the progress SGA has made this semester and is proud of the service that the organization has been able to provide to the community. 

“You can see that across the work that we’ve done,” Anger said, “from SGA express being revitalized and us helping 150 students with their financial needs to go home for the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays to the eight-pound harvest that our community garden had for the Cardinal Cupboard.”

She appreciates not only the quality but the diversity of legislation the Senate has passed this semester. 

“One of them was a resolution passed to bring filtered water to the residence halls, so in January, in Mills South and Mills North, they’re installing filtered water fountains, which is really exciting. That’s one example,” Anger continued, “all the way ranging to a piece of legislation that was passed to encourage our university to review our financial holdings to make sure we weren’t invested in corporations that were profiting from the Uyghur genocide. And that resolution actually prompted the University to hire an external firm to review our financial holdings to ensure we weren’t invested in those companies.”

The former resolution, A Resolution to Bring Filtered Water to Residence Halls, was sponsored by Senator Maura Schlee, while the latter resolution, A Resolution to Ensure the Proper Use of the University’s Financial Holdings, was sponsored by Senator Gerald Sharpe.

In addition to the Senate’s work, SGA’s executive initiatives have been able to operate fully in-person and uninhibited by the COVID-19 pandemic for the first time this semester, after being in the planning stages for five years. 

“The Catholic Values executive initiative hosted the ‘Welcome Home’ campaign at the beginning of the year; they partnered with eight other religious organizations on campus to put on this welcoming back to faith and worship as a community,” Anger said. “I mentioned the eight-pound harvest in the community garden that our environmental initiative did that was donated to the Cardinal Cupboard, so that’s a great example of the service. Our commuter and transfer executive initiative, which was new this year, hosted a commuter student breakfast with the CCE which was a great success, again, building community. That’s really the role of the executive initiatives.”

Looking forward to the next semester, one of SGA’s main priorities is the student advising experience. A survey was sent around the campus last month—which garnered over 650 student responses—about the quality of the Center for Academic and Career Success. Over the winter break, the numbers will be translated into a report which will be sent out to 30 administrators. 

SGA also plans to work with the Title IX coordinator to increase the number of responses to the Sexual Assault Climate Survey, which typically only gets a 15% response rate. The organization’s goal is to get a 25% response rate, as the report greatly influences Title IV policy on campus. 

Throughout the year, SGA has kept meticulous records of its work in order to make the transition to a new president as smooth as possible. A new SGA president will be elected in April, and they will be the voice of the student body in welcoming the new University President at the beginning of the next school year. 

To follow along with SGA’s work throughout the next semester, visit the website, and cast your vote for Student Body President in the spring.

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