Student Government Association in Session.
Photo by Jean Germano
Over the past month, two students joined the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s (UWS) Student Government Association (SGA). Lucas Palomino and Pratham Mundra will be senators representing the freshman cohort at the university. A question that can arise in the mind of UWS students is what exactly does the SGA do for them? While most students will only experience contact with the SGA through mass emails requesting students to vote in elections, much of what they govern impacts student life.
Wisconsin law is the basis for what the SGA does as outlined under state statutes chapter 36.09(5), which gives students the right to organize to appoint members to represent student interests in university governance. This duty is performed through councils and committees whose members are wholly or partially chosen by the SGA, who selects appointees from amongst the student body and its senators. Foremost amongst these are the Segregated University Fee Allocation Committee (SUFAC), Academic Affairs Council, and the Internal External Council.
Any student who interacts with student organizations on campus has heard of SUFAC. This committee governs how much a university segregated fee funds a campus organization receives. The segregated fee is assessed to all students’ tuitions atop educational fees that cover a variety of student support services.
Academic Affairs Council reviews and recommends policy concerning student life, services, and concerns on campus as defined by the senate. The Internal-External Council, otherwise known as the student judiciary, has governing duties that include hearing appeals to punitory parking and housing decisions, hearing impeachments, and regulating Senate proceedings, amongst other responsibilities.
University governance involves a variety of ad hoc committees that come and go as the situation demands. SGA also makes appointments to these. Despite not always being the most visible part of university governance, the SGA has a key role in decisions deeply impacting campus life.
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