The Student Government Association (SGA) serves as a voice for IUP students as well as a chance for students to get involved in representing the interests of the university.

Since its formation in the 1930s, the organization has expanded in its commitment to ensure university students are heard.

The SGA is connected to the IUP administration and thus serves on the University Senate that recommends university policies to President Michael Driscoll.

Members of the organization are responsible for numerous activities and regularly selected to serve on university committees to ensure fair representation of the student body. These include serving on Student Conduct boards, Student Organization Review boards and grade appeal committees. Additionally, they help manage the IUP Student Activity Fee with the IUP Student Cooperative Association.

For a new organization on campus to gain university recognition, SGA’s Board of Recognition oversees the majority of the process.

Chief Justice August Bolinger (senior, economics and supply chain management) explained what the Board looks for when recognizing a student organization.

“Generally speaking, what the Board looks for in an organization is dedication, membership and the ability to benefit students as well as the IUP community,” Bolinger said. “We find these qualities by assessing the foundational documents of a student organization (a constitution), ensuring that new organizations are inclusive and checking for uniqueness.”

While the SGA Board of Recognition cannot shut down an organization if rules are not followed, they do perform yearly reviews that involve ensuring that the requirement for a student organization is met.

Bolinger encourages those that want to form a new student organization to reach out to him at his email (A.O.Bolinger@iup.edu) or Kevin Foster (kfoster@iup.edu) for help with understanding these requirements, as the SGA is ready to help them through the process.

During SGA meetings, reports are issued by officers and members, and updates are heard by the Vice President for Student Affairs. There is an Open Student Forum that allows for IUP students to be heard by the organization and address any potential issues that the SGA can work to resolve.

President Alexander Fefolt (senior, history/pre-law and political science) explained the steps taken when an issue is presented to the SGA.

“Depending on the certain situation, we address a student issue by advocating for a change in university policy, finding more information or bringing the concern to the attention of someone who can take action to solve it,” Fefolt said.

Currently, SGA is looking for positions to fill senator vacancies in the organization. Due to the pandemic, the previous requirement that stated signatures from 50 students supporting an individual’s candidacy is waived. Now all that is required is attendance of two general assembly meetings, and the application on the SGA’s website must be filled out.

An internal election determines the final decision on whether a new member is welcomed. All are encouraged to try out to get involved in representing the IUP’s student body.

An upcoming event called “S’mores Galore” is a collaboration between SGA and the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement (MCSLE). Hot chocolate and s’mores will be served at the Folger Student Center 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday.

Meetings are open to the public and consistently held 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the Elkin Great Room or online through Zoom. The passcode for the meeting will be given after emailing

sga-officers@iup.edu.

Attendance for these meetings has been fairly consistent even since the pandemic’s start, and a new change allows members to participate in an online format due to some staying away from Indiana or in-person meetings.

“More work must be done to ensure students are well represented during this time,” Fefolt said.

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