The Undergraduate Student Government Association’s newly elected President Kelly Scott, junior athletic training major, is busy making plans for improving the NSU experience with her officers, mostly members of The Lego Party, which beat out the emPower Party.
The new SGA was announced on April 10 after a vote of 747 undergraduate students. The elected officers will begin on May 2.
Scott hopes to accomplish the Lego Party’s 10 initiatives: improve funding for registered student organizations (RSO), enhance campus facilities, advocate for student events, improve campus sustainability, strengthen the collegiate atmosphere, raise community involvement, create new traditions, provide more healthy food options, encourage relationships between SGA and the student body, and become one NSU.
Funding for RSO
Scott hopes to improve funding for RSOs by developing a system that simplifies the process for student organizations to receive funding. By enhancing campus facilities, Scott said SGA’s main focus is to refurbish the study rooms in Goodwin’s Residence Hall.
“The study rooms are rundown,” Scott said. “Some of them don’t even have tables. The furniture is old and falling apart. It is important for students living in the residence hall to go into these rooms and feel comfortable while studying.”
Improving the University Center
Scott also has her sights set on improving the Don Taft University Center by adding more tables and chairs for students to study and relax on the second and third floor.
Universal activities calendar
The new SGA executive board plans to create a calendar advertising all events happening on campus, displayed to all residential undergraduate students. Scott said the calendar will serve as a reminder for students to find out what’s happening, so they’ll remember to attend events.
“We don’t know if it’ll be chalk, dry erase, electronic, but we know we want the calendar to be up for everyone to see from the start of the school semester until the end,” said Scott. “If people see the calendar in front of them every day, they will remember what is going on and start attending.”
Haleigh Wilson, new vice president of legislation and junior psychology major, would like to notify students about campus events through students’ mobile devices to increase their awareness of events and activities happening on campus.
“We can inform students about events through the iShark app we already have or a new system where students can receive a text or push notification through their phones,” said Wilson.
The incoming SGA hopes to work with various university departments to provide more energy and water-efficient washer and dryers in the residence halls, solar panels on buildings, and a vegetable and fruit garden. Scott said solar panels will save “money, energy, and the environment.”
Strengthening school spirit
Scott and her team believe that school spirit is lacking and that strengthening the collegiate atmosphere and community involvement by incorporating more NSU traditions will increase Shark pride. Wilson said NSU needs to get to know the community and for the community to get to know NSU.
The incoming SGA leaders also envision NSU shark gear and signs appearing in local restaurants.
Kelly said, “It doesn’t make sense that when going across the street to Chili’s, there is University of Miami gear all around the restaurant. There’s no reason why restaurants in the Davie area shouldn’t be supporting NSU. Hopefully, this is one small way we can get NSU’s name out there.”
Providing healthy food options
Scott feels that one of the most discussed topics among students is campus food options, especially, a lack of healthy food options. Scott is most passionate about this matter, as she thinks that many of the on-campus food vendors serve repetitive items. She recognizes the campus’s healthy food options, but would like to see more of it.
“For the people who live on campus and have the meal plan, they get tired of eating the same things, it’s really hard to eat the same foods every day,” she said. “We want to try and have a buffet style set up that serves a different breakfast, lunch and dinner every day throughout the week so it isn’t the same food. It would be something new and also healthy.”
Bridging the gap between SGA and the student body
SGA want to become more reliable and approachable, and if students have ideas and want their voices to be heard, SGA will welcome it.
Scott said, “For some reason, SGA has been put on this pedestal as if we are higher than other organizations, but we aren’t. We want to let students know they shouldn’t feel afraid to come up and talk to us for help.”
A united NSU
The nine other initiatives created by the new SGA members lead up to the final goal: to become one, united NSU.
“It may sound cliché saying ‘become one NSU,’ but that’s our main focus,” said Wilson. “The other nine goals are just ways of how we are going to make this main focus happen.”
New executive secretary Danny McFadden, junior legal studies major, would like freshmen to become more active, involved and knowledgeable about NSU.
“When SGA moves on, we want a freshmen team that can pick up where we left off and know which direction to take, so the legacy continues,” McFadden said.
Congratulations to the newly elected, Undergraduate SGA members! Here are the new officers and the parties, if any, they represented during elections.
Kelly Scott (LEGO)
Vice President of Judicial Affairs:
Dominic Campenni (LEGO)
Vice President of Legislation:
Haleigh Wilson (LEGO)
Belen Perez (LEGO)
Taylor Mathew (emPower)
Stacey Mendigutia (LEGO)
Wildline Nordelus (LEGO)
Natalie Davidson (emPower)
Natalie Moreau (LEGO)
James Montgomery (LEGO)
Collier Strenkert (LEGO)
Vanessa Duboulay (emPower)
Paula Garzon (LEGO)
Inter-Organizational Council Chair:
Juan Duran (LEGO)
Inter-Organizational Council Chair of Legislation:
Desiree Casanova (LEGO)
Inter-Organizational Council Chair of Records:
Ujala Ahmed (LEGO)
*Two Athletic Senators will be voted on at an upcoming Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Meeting