Photo courtesy of Southern Miss SGA
This year’s Student Government Association executive officers plan to boost student involvement and outreach in order to better serve the student body while keeping the traditions forged by previous administrations.
“We are very, very excited for this next year. We have a lot of fun things planned,” SGA president and senior sociology major Michael Matrick said. “The one major change for this upcoming year is student body outreach.”
One of the main issues the SGA wants to resolve this semester and within the upcoming year, according to Matrick, is how they reach out to the student body. He said keeping the students updated and “plugged in” is the most important factor.
“We are taking the initiative to really reach out to the student body more. That means getting out in the open and being more visible to everyone,” Matrick said. “This is really important, especially with what we do. Student output is crucial in our decision making.”
The SGA is pushing for more feedback from students this year, along with providing more involvement opportunities, according to senior communications studies major Madison Crimm.
“I’m incredibly excited to see who will be elected to represent our school in various positions this year,” she said.
Varsity, a volunteer-based option founded by last year’s president, is a fairly new way students can still have an opportunity to have that experience and even get some service hours. Matrick emphasized that students could sign up on their own time and choose events they may enjoy.
“Oh, you don’t have time? Well, we can help you make time for an event or two of your choice,” Matrick said.
Matrick said there are many events for students to look forward to including Homecoming and EaglePalooza, and applications are now online with elections approaching. EaglePalooza is the annual music festival the SGA organizes that takes place in downtown Hattiesburg.
“It’s just super fun because everyone comes out to it. We realized that so much could be going on, and music can be the one thing that brings everyone together. Everybody just has a good time, and people love that it’s free,” Matrick said. “Yes, it’s completely free.”
SGA has many things planned for this upcoming year. Matrick said he wants to set himself apart and make his mark on the school and SGA.
“[Thinking about how to leave my mark] is what keeps me up at night. It is not necessarily about being better than someone but about leaving your mark. You know, leaving it better than how you found it,” Matrick said. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I think it is something that will come to me later in the year, but I am hoping the plans I have for us will have a good impact. It is going to be a very exciting year, and I have no doubt that it is going to be the best one yet!”
Senior communication studies major Kayley Safley said she is excited to get started with working with the SGA on communications.
“I’m excited to work with SGA on finding ways to communicate with students where they are. Much of that will revolve around more informative social media, graphics and a website,” Safley said. “Changes are coming, and we are excited.”