President of the Student Government Association John Bruer ’16 and Vice President William Seabrook ’16 have shown dedication and enthusiasm in their roles this year. They hope to benefit the student body by enhancing communication between SGA and students, encouraging students to get involved in SGA and organizing entertaining events that will, according to Bruer, “enhance your St. Olaf experience.” Some of the important issues that Bruer and Seabrook aim to discuss are the new hazing policy, mental health awareness, sexual assault prevention and creating a supportive community.
“[We want to] emphasize to the students that sexual assault is not tolerated at St. Olaf and [that] we have a culture of support and prevention,” Bruer said.
According to Seabrook, SGA will be implementing campus conversation programs designed to collect feedback from the students to benefit the St. Olaf community.
“The way we are going to [collect feedback] is through campus conversation programs and through town halls. So, we’re going to have a town hall once a month down in the Pause or any other campus space so that students can come together and talk about issues that are about everyone.”
The biggest change SGA hopes to implement this year is an increase in communication between students and student government. Both Bruer and Seabrook are working to understand what students want to get out of their government.
“[We are] focusing a lot more of our efforts on collecting information from students,” Bruer said. “We want to make sure that what we are doing is actually relevant… and that goes from the issues we address to programs and activities that we put on.”
SGA is a body designed to serve students and give them a voice. Both Bruer and Seabrook are concerned that there are issues close to students that are not being brought to SGA.
“A lot of what we are trying to do is, in this coming year, is kick up as many conversations as possible around different issues around campus that may not be receiving conversations they deserve,” Bruer said.
SGA has had conversations about strategies to increase the campus voice and reach as many students as possible. It is willing to add new senators and create new subcommittees. It is also hoping to increase the student voice within the LGBTQ community and to continue to find ways to decrease sexual assault.
“We are willing to tackle anything,” Seabrook said.
Bruer and Seabrook encourage students to stop by the SGA office, located in Buntrock Commons 107, with any suggestions or questions. As an extra incentive, Seabrook added that there is a “90 percent chance of [receiving] free stuff” if you decide to swing by.
Bruer encourages students to take a risk and branch out a bit by getting in- volved in SGA, attending events and discovering the resources it has to offer.