The Journal

SGA Responds to Grievances on Flyer

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An anonymous flyer listing several issues with UIS’s administration, including one specifically calling out the Student Government Association, has led the SGA to respond.

   One of the ten grievances listed on the flyer, which was distributed around campus, was the Student Government Association’s “lack of autonomy” relative to the administration. The flyer, with the heading “UIS Cannot Silence Us,” also stated the writers’ intent to create an anonymous publication where other students can express their own concerns as well. “We hope to become a mechanism through which students and faculty/staff may personally hold the administration accountable for its actions,” they said. “We hope to provide efficacy to the individual who is displeased by the issues on campus.”

   Student Body President Rosie Dawoud said though she can see how someone can feel that the SGA doesn’t have autonomy, since they are working with administrators, that is not their intent. “We are the student government, we are students,” Dawoud said. SGA Treasurer Heba Qazi said students are not an extension of the UIS administration, but rather, an extension of the student population. “We can consolidate all their ideas, and find the right platforms to express them,” she said. “That’s our job.”

   Andrew Cunningham, internal vice president, said the SGA is as “autonomous” as another student organization, with administration having no say over what it does during meetings. “We will always advocate for students, [but] we have to do it in a professional way,” he said.

   Getting students to participate and come to the SGA with issues they have is something the organization is working on, several executive board members said.

    Dawoud said moving general meetings to the ballroom, and holding meeting and forums are some ways the SGA has been attempting to remedy this problem. “That’s why we’re doing these events-to get us more in the UIS community,” she said. “They can come to us without fear of judgment, repercussions.”

     Dawoud added that at the end of the day, SGA members are students, too, and have the same concerns students do. For instance, she said she also shares student concerns about food services, such as wanting longer hours and more variety.

      The SGA tries to set regular meetings with administrators to relay information to them. Dawoud said it then goes back to students, discusses possible solutions with them and tell them what the administration said.

   Dawoud and Qazi said they would be willing to go against the administration on an issue if it would be in the students’ best interest. “In the past, there’s been SGA’s who have gone against administrators on certain policies, issues,” Dawoud said. Dawoud said the list of grievances is a great idea. “It’s students standing up for what they believe in, that’s what the Student Government encourages,” she said. Qazi said students can go directly to student government members, including at open forums and meetings.

   Qazi agreed, saying that the campus need things to change and that it is inspiring to see people wanting to engage on campus. “We don’t want things to be stagnant, how they’ve always been,” she said.

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SGA Responds to Grievances on Flyer