Student Government Association (SGA) members discussed ideas to get students more engaged with SGA in a debate Tuesday as a way to inaugurate the elected members into their new positions.

The Student Government Association (SGA) held a debate on more than just the state of the IUP library Tuesday in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Building. 

Elections were held where candidates ran uncontested, and the main purpose of the event was to inaugurate the new electoral board and set the stage for the role of the organization moving forward.

According to SGA’s biography on Crimson Connect, SGA serves to provide students and organizations with a representative voice. 

SGA relations with the broader student body was a key theme of the night. 

Each newly elected member spoke on how to attract more interest in the program. 

The newly elected treasurer, Attilah Ali (freshman, management) said she would “like to see SGA meetings become more open to the general population.” 

Ali said chalking sidewalks and posting flyers would be a good way to attract students to SGA and get them more involved. 

Ali said she enjoyed tabling around campus, which gave her direct access to the student body.

“Being seen by the public is important,” Ali said.

Beyond simply engaging more with the average IUP attendee, SGA focused on the need to integrate IUP more closely with the various clubs and organizations on campus. 

“We should have a meet-and-greet with the other organizations, so we can all get to know each other,” said Demir Moore (junior, philosophy pre-law), the newly elected chief justice.

As chief justice, Moore will review each organization’s constitution. 

He said a closer relationship between SGA and the leadership of different organizations would be beneficial moving forward.

Besides issues related to SGA specifically, a focus of the meeting was library “de-clutterization,” the removal of a significant number of underused library books to make way for new student spaces.

Newly elected SGA secretary Michelle Lengel (junior, political science) said she was “initially lukewarm about the idea,” but later said it would be nice to have more space to meet up, as the library is a social hub.

Ali thought it made sense. 

“I view it as being proactive,” Ali said. “Technology is more and more important. I think in 10 to 20 years, most libraries will have fewer and fewer books in them, anyway.” 

Moore echoed Ali’s sentiments.

“My high school didn’t have a traditional library but an IMC, or instructional media center,” Moore said. “That worked well.”

Several students seemed concerned, as one student asked SGA members multiple times what they could do to ensure the transition actually worked. 

“It’s just about an efficient use of resources,”said the current SGA president, Brian Swatt (junior, political science). 

Swatt previously mentioned that modernization of IUP’s facilities was important moving forward.

“I have immense confidence in the e-board,” Swatt said. “They have my full support moving forward, and I’m sure they are going to do great things.”

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