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The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Letter to the Editor: The SGA is back

Letter+to+the+Editor%3A+The+SGA+is+back

Dear Mountaineers,

My name is JP Neri. I’m a junior history major, originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco. I am also the president of App State’s Student Government Association, and I appreciate all of you who didn’t click out of the article as soon as you read those words. 

I know that in years past, the SGA has been pretty silent. Aside from a few statements or Instagram posts, for most of you, student government has made no noticeable difference in your lives, and that is not lost on us. We have been marred by years of conflict, micro-politicking and toxicity that have stained our credibility and crippled our ability to effectively advocate for our needs as students and people at App State. Our own, internal rules had trapped us in a system that was broken and greedy. A system that, despite its promises, actively discouraged and often prevented us from engaging with students, faculty, staff and administration in ways that were meaningful.

These barriers, created by our own members, drove away most of the students who had joined with the intention of creating a tangible impact on our campus. The ones who remained were bullied and forced into upholding the harmful status quo; beaten down by a never changing pattern of rules and minutiae. 

Over the past few months, our group has gone through a time of reckoning. The Division of Student Affairs, along with student leaders, realized that we were at a breaking point, and with the help of Vice Chancellor J.J. Brown, we effectively shut down our operations so that we could focus on mending the SGA.

We have overhauled our constitution, removing barriers and hindrances that had made it nearly impossible to focus on anything other than ourselves. 

We have revisited our mission, establishing a set of core values that will guide us as we continue to rebuild and improve our organization. 

We have restructured our leadership, streamlining how we engage with students, faculty, staff and administration in a way that will enable us to have a pronounced role in important decisions that impact our student body.

All this is to say that the SGA is back. 

I know that an SGA meeting is probably not most people’s idea of a good time, but we cannot continue to build and grow without your help and your voice. Gaining credibility is a long and difficult process, but it is worth it. If we have more students and perspectives, our mandate and our influence will continue to grow, and so will our chances of changing the student experience for the better.

That is why I am writing this letter: The SGA has changed, and I hope this first year will serve as a testament to the power of student advocacy. All I ask is that you help us prove it.

 

Signed,

 

Juan Pablo Neri

Student Body President, Appalachian State University

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    FaunaAug 22, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    Can students sit in on SGA meetings?

    Reply