By Mohammad Mujahed/Jambar Contributor
The 2018-2019 school year has begun for the students at Youngstown State University. This year, the Student Government Association is trying to implement new plans to meet their goals while creating an understanding with students.
For SGA President Ernie Barkett, and Vice President Caroline Smith, this semester will bring new goals and accomplishments in helping their fellow students.
Barkett said he sees SGA’s main goal is to serve the students and make them come first.
“We’d like to see the university continue to put students first as they expand services and infrastructure across campus,” Barkett said.
The growth and potential of the university is something that Barkett would like to see continue.
“[YSU] has been experiencing a lot of positive growth over the past three years and we want to see that continue,” he said.
For Smith, the relationship between the SGA and the students is a key part in understanding SGA’s initiatives.
“My goals for the University this year include improving Student Government’s relationship with the student body and focusing on enhancing the University’s understanding of SGA’s initiatives,” she said.
Even though the first SGA meeting did not take place yet, thoughts and ideas are coming up. The SGA also has many accomplishments and plans lined up.
These accomplishments are seen as a great step for students at the start of the fall semester.
“So far, [SGA] have created a program that allows students to request an advisor at conduct hearings,” Barkett said. “We established single-user restrooms across campus, started a fall break for students in 2019 and hosted events throughout campus,” he said.
Barkett said he is hoping to create a family area on campus, help increase voter participation and bring more transportation options.
The SGA is also making changes inside their own organization. The plan is to create a new vice president spot, according to Vice President Smith.
“We are considering adding new vice presidents to the executive committee and enforcing representative requirements,” Smith said.
Barkett also talked about how SGA is trying to update the structure of the organization to help increase student participation across campus.
“We want to update the Student Government structure to represent more students and increase participation across campus,” he said, “We will hopefully be adding Honors College Representative seat and a new Vice President position this year,” he said.
Pride in being campus leaders is something that both Barkett and Smith have. Smith talked about how YSU gave her and other students opportunities that allowed to showcase through SGA.
“I take pride in being a campus leader because YSU has offered me and other students so many wonderful opportunities that I want to showcase through Student Government,” Smith said.
She also stated that she wanted to be a campus leader because of her leadership skills.
“I wanted to be a campus leader because I have been involved on campus for a long time and felt I had the skills to properly guide an organization,” she said.
Barkett said he wanted to be a campus leader because he wanted to see the improvement of YSU and the city of Youngstown.
“I want to be a campus leader because I want to see YSU and the city of Youngstown improve,” Barkett said. “This is my home and I can think of no better way than to get involved as a student leader at YSU.”
“We’ve created countless connections and relationships with Student Government and the YSU community, and its great to walk around everyday and see them in person,” Barkett said.
Smith expects the students to do their part in helping the SGA and also the campus.
“I expect students to do their part. By that I mean I hope they care about SGA as much as Ernie and I do so that we can expect more volunteerism and greater enthusiasm,”Smith said.
She also encourages her fellow students to seek help in SGA whenever there is a concern.
“Student Government’s doors are always open; we encourage all students to contact or visit us to address their concerns,” Smith said. “We were elected by students, so we are here to serve them.”
The first SGA meeting was held on Sept 10. at 4 p.m. in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center and was open to the public.