The Student Government Association (SGA) at IUP has a new plan for the Fall 2020 semester.
“The IUP Student Government Association’s history dates back to 1931,” Alex Fefolt (senior, history) said. “Students at the State Teachers College at Indiana came together March 6, in the college dining room for the first meeting of the ISTC Student Council.”
The school’s president at the time, Dr. Charles Foster, supported the organization.
“The Student Council was intended to promote in every way possible the best interests of the college,” Fefolt said.
“The Student Council was to regulate all matters of student conduct which do not all under the jurisdiction of the faculty and, in general, to serve as a means by which the needs of the students may be presented to the administration.”
As time passed, and as the ISTC expanded its academic scope, later becoming IUP, so too did the Student Council grow and change into the organization it is today. SGA now oversees many aspects of student life at the university, such as recognizing student organizations, representing students in the IUP University Senate, collaborating with the SGAs of 14 public universities in Pennsylvania and working closely with the IUP administration.
But, despite many changes, the core mission of SGA has always remained the same; to effectively represent the interests of the student body.
At the beginning of the spring semester last year, COVID-19 came into effect. With the start of the Fall 2020 Semester, SGA had to change the thinking and planning of what to do around IUP.
“Student Government is aware of the importance of ensuring students are represented and their interests are promoted as the university continues to make decision regarding and in response of the current pandemic,” Fefolt said.
“We continue to meet weekly on Tuesday evenings in person, but through Zoom. We have been able to ensure that students can attend and participate in our meetings and deliberations from home or wherever they may be.
“It is important to us that students can contact us with concerns so that we may bring them to the attention of the university and advocate for courses of action that support IUP students.”
SGA continues to work with university partners on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as ensuring students are informed and registered to vote in the 2020 upcoming election, and be counted in the 2020 United States Census.
“During the pandemic,” said Hamzah Sammour, the official student body representative, “we are looking at ways to build a stronger community at IUP. SGA strives to find solutions to help students gain the safest and best academic experience in continuing their education while on campus.”
One of the challenges that SGA had this semester was to promote safety measures among students.
“We are also working with the university senate and the administration to ensure we have the appropriate safety measures as we move along through the pandemic.”
If you’d like to participate in an SGA meeting, contact Alex Fefolt at email@example.com and may join the Zoom Tuesday night meetings at 7:30 p.m.