The Student Government Association hosted the first cabinet meeting of the semester Monday to prepare for events scheduled for the spring. SGA President Jeffrey George started the meeting with an upbeat attitude and got right to the point.
“We had a lot of stuff going on last semester but we are ready to come back and get started,” George said.
The fall semester of 2015 was intense for the student government after the removal of the state flag when the SGA passed a resolution cementing the decision not to raise the current state flag again on campus. After decompressing over winter break, the SGA picked up from where it left off.
“Today we are getting some updates from within the SGA cabinet to get our semester started off,” George said. “Our cabinet meetings are when all our members come together to update each other on what is going on within SGA, because we do have other branches outside of the cabinet.”
Topics covered included plans for the Big Event, a student service project intended to give back to the community, and ways to show appreciation for the university.
SGA resolved that it would like to dedicate focus to USM by having a University Appreciation day sometime this spring. However, students will not be neglected as freshman associates are already hard at work preparing for the Freshman Finale.
The Freshman Finale, an event open to all Southern Miss students, will take place around finals so students can get a mental break from studying to enjoy events and free food.
SGA advisor Wynde Fitts said significant opportunities to make a difference will be available to students on campus over the semester.
“One of the things they really want to do is a campaign [for] It’s On Us, which is about sexual assault and bystander behavior,” Fitts said. “It’s going to be very important to put our energy and finances behind this to do a good job educating men and women about sexual assault.”
Fitts emphasized the importance of sexual violence awareness, citing an Association of American University’s study, which reported that one out of every five college women have been sexually assaulted.
Fitts also commended the SGA team on their work reaching out to students on campus in general.
“I think SGA puts together some great events, and they have made some strides in terms of reaching sophomores and students that maybe don’t always get thought about,” Fitts said. “That’s one of the things I’m really proud of that they have accomplished this year.”
She said the SGA’s efforts will not go unnoticed and consistently attracts engagement by the community.
“The students involved in SGA are good at reaching outside of the box and not only thinking about the people in this room but the student body,” Fitts said.