The Student Government Association (SGA) held three interest sessions from Nov. 10 through 13 to inform students about how to become associate members.
An associate member is a non-elected member that must apply, sign a contract of agreement and be approved by the SGA executive board.
SGA has never before held an interest session on this matter.
Laura DeLucia, executive vice president, said she organized the sessions as a way to “reach out to the student body” about getting involved.
“By becoming an executive member, you can gain an understanding of what the organization does and use it as a stepping stone if you want to get more involved and run (for an elected position) next year,” DeLucia said.
She and the other elected officials read the applications during their office hours. Then, every third general board meeting of the month, they approve the new associate members.
DeLucia said applying is a “formality” and the SGA “never disapproves.”
Many of the students that attended the interest session were freshmen.
“I tried a few other clubs at the College, and after attending the meetings I realized they weren’t for me,” Laurie Mandara, freshman psychology major, said. “I think I would enjoy SGA more because I was involved student government before. I was president of my high school.”
Many of these freshmen heard about SGA through the mass e-mail sent to students titled “Join the SGA!”
Esther Ogunyemi, freshman biology major, said, “I wanted to come because I’ve been involved in student government ever since we had homeroom representatives in middle school.”
Some upperclassmen attended.
“I’ve never been to a meeting before, but they seem really interesting and I want to find out more about SGA,” Richard Adams, junior business major, said.
The associate members cannot vote or debate in general board meetings. They can only speak during “open forum,” which was originally designed specifically for associates.
In addition, associate members do not have office hours.
But, they have similar responsibilities as other SGA members, such as manning tables in the student center.
The application consists of general information, as well as five short-answer questions, such as “What do you think is the purpose of SGA?” and “What specific issue would you like to see changed and why?”
DeLucia said a contract of commitment is signed so the students “understand what is expected and accept those responsibilities.”
Associate members must also attend two-thirds of either the general board meetings, which meet weekly Wednesdays at 3:30, or one of the five internal committees, which meet weekly at various times. Associate members can choose to attend either or both.
The Student Services committee meets Sundays at 7 p.m. to discuss topics such as parking, ticketing and Sodexho food services. They are also in charge of the 24-hour student center during finals week.
The Academic Affairs committee meets Mondays at 8 p.m. They discuss matters such as the academic transformation at the College and the Pick-A-Prof program.
The Legal and Governance Affairs committee also meets Monday at 8 p.m.
It’s role is to discuss the constitutions of new organizations, as well as review their own constitution and bylaws.
The Administration and Finance committee meets Thursdays at 7 p.m. to discuss the SGA budget, working hand-in-hand with the Student Finance Board.
They also deal with construction and emergency/safety issues, such as evacuations.
The Community Relations committee meets Sundays at 6 p.m. to discuss SGA’s relations with the rest of the College campus as well as the surrounding Ewing community. They deal with matters such as TCNJ Holiday and the alcohol policy.
For those students who missed the interest session, but still want to get involved, SGA accepts applications at all times.
Students can download the application online (http://sga.intrasun.tcnj.edu) and leave it in DeLucia’s mailbox in the Office of Campus Life.