Letter to the Editor: SGA is still here


Dear Editor,

Despite the rumors, the Student Government Association is alive and well. You may have heard that we were “shut down” by the University’s Administration, but rest assured that we are working in full force to rebuild our organization from the ground up to better serve the student body. Our members continue to meet every Tuesday evening in order to reassess our core values and purpose, restructure our foundations and ensure that fair and democratic elections are carried out this semester.

So what happened? Our organization has had a long-standing history of exclusion and toxicity. As the years progressed, we had gotten more and more self-involved with internal conflict. With time, the issues manifested into institutional disarray to the point where we failed the student body. We were unable to effectively advocate for student concerns because we were so wrapped up in our own troubles. Any and all attempts at positive change were met with roadblocks that our previous rules set. Because of this, we sought guidance from Student Affairs leadership to help us get to a place where we could restructure. This suspension of the rules is where the rumors stem from; however, the organization was never “shut down” as we have continued meeting weekly. We are solely focusing on our potential growth and development as an organization during our weekly meetings. We’d like to share a few pieces of information and the progress we’ve made over the last few weeks.

We began with brainstorming our “why” as an organization and created a list of SGA’s core values to help guide our internal growth. After discussing these standards, we determined that our organization is centered around five main values: advocacy, equitable representation, community, engagement and the creation of opportunities. From these core values, we workshopped an all-encompassing mission statement. It is as follows:

“The purpose of the App State-SGA shall be to prioritize equitable representation of all students by acknowledging that each student has different and crucial needs. We commit to giving each individual’s value the space and attention they deserve. Furthermore, we strive to uplift and support ideas for the betterment of student life, giving a platform for student voices that would not be acknowledged otherwise. We aim to establish a community of peers where there is room for all student voices to be heard and elevated. We provide the opportunity to make positive impacts within the Appalachian State University community through leadership and collaboration. Above all, we seek to establish an involved organization that maintains adequate engagement internally and externally.”

We refer to these core values in the mission statement in all of our actions, including our restructuring process. These values remind us of what we want to focus on—best serving App State’s student body. We are moving towards unifying under a unitary branch system so that we may be the most efficient version of ourselves.

We encourage all interested students to run for seats in the Assembly. Interested students who would like to run for the Assembly who are not already in the organization need to email the election co-directors Kaylee Greene (greenekh@appstate.edu) and Hampton Smith (smithhp1@appstate.edu) by this Friday, April 14 at 5 p.m. The campaigning period will begin on April 17 at midnight. We will be holding a debate for presidential and vice presidential candidates on April 18 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in Linville Falls within the student union. Voting will be held on Engage and open at 8:30 p.m. April 18 and end on April 21 at noon. Please refer to our Instagram page @appstate.sga for more information. 

The App State SGA thanks the student body for their patience during these unprecedented times. We are very excited to continue to serve our constituents.