The Benefits of SGA (Student Government Association)

By Ryan Wooley

All students at some point have been asked how they like Suffolk Community College. Each student at SCCC has a different school experience and is entitled to their opinion regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the school. Students who are unhappy with certain aspects of the school or have a concern with issues on the campus are given the option to voice their opinions. One of the best ways to be heard is to contact the SGA. The SGA, or Student Government Association, exists to represent the students at Suffolk Community College.

As with most government offices, the SGA holds regular elections. This year, the elections were held on April 13th – April 16th. Each of the campuses of SCCC have their own elections. The candidates for this year’s Ammerman campus elections are: Katie Nowak, Emily Vaughan, and Justin Micozzi. Students were given multiple options for voting. They could vote at the North Babylon Student Center or they had the option of voting by using their mySCCC account. On mySCCC, there is a student elections tab. On this tab, you can click on each of the candidate’s names to view their mission statement. Their mission statement outlines the candidate’s goals for the upcoming year. This allows for Suffolk Community students to evaluate each of the candidates and compare each to the others

Visiting the Babylon Student Center earlier this week, I was able to meet the current president of the Ammerman Campus SGA, Anthony Cheslock. Anthony was keen on promoting this year’s election. He told me, “The SGA in 4 year schools is much more popular and interactive than what we have at a commuter community college, but in this year’s election we are hoping to get at least 300-500 votes.” He also informed me of what SGA is about and how they aspire to be both leaders on campus and serve as the voice for all students. Even if a student is a “short-timer” at Suffolk, it is worthwhile to have some relationship with the SGA. This experience is valuable so that when you move on to a four year university, you are familiar with and have a basic understanding of how you can have an impact and potentially make a difference for your school.

I also was able to discuss the SGA and the election with one of the candidates as well as our Vice President Kaitlyn Altamirano. It was Kaitlyn who informed me of when current members of the SGA would be available in the Babylon Student Center. The candidate who I was able to get in touch with was Emily Vaughan. Emily is currently a senator within the student government. She went on to tell me of how she was promoting not just SGA, but the whole college as well. “ I’m an advocate for community colleges and was just in Albany a month ago advocating for SUFFOLK community college, doing everything possible to represent the students back at home. I’m currently in Texas right

now at ACUI, a conference which is a leadership development week long workshop.

I have gained so much experience in the last year and I’m super excited about running for president!”

One important thing to remember about SGA is that each campus at Suffolk has different candidates running for that specific campus. Seeing this sort of dedication from just someone who was running for president of SGA was something that was inspiring and surprising. SGA is a resource that should be taken advantage of. The more feedback our students give, the more results and action might take place afterwards. Most students here don’t know where to go to express their concerns or ask questions. Going to ask the SGA is a great option because they cover all issues and ideas that could help the student body at large. Researching and talking to people involved in the SGA was a motivating experience. The SGA protects our rights as students. Promoting the SGA and encouraging students to become more informed and involved will only help our school. The feedback and questions that are proposed might make a certain area develop and grow. Getting insight at what this group brings to the table and how they try as best as possible to represent our student body is a great challenge. Luckily we have leaders within our campus who are trying to take charge and make things as nice as possible for all students at SCCC.

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