Student Government Association fails to hold elections, organization ceases to exist for Fall 2022 semester
By The Dateline
The Student Government Association disbanded before the start of the current semester as an election was not held before their term ended on May 31, and they have no provisions for a fall election in their constitution.
SGA is a student organization established to maintain a democratic system of student governance, act as the student body’s voice, and be involved in the university’s decision-making processes. As the fall 2022 semester progressed, the campus lacked the presence of SGA, considering how active they have been in campus engagement throughout the years.
The spring 2022 cabinet was active in student engagement and campus activities.
Most notably, the SGA was one of the most active organizations on campus throughout
February, which is Black History Month. They hosted an event to kick off Black History
Month and ended it with a solidarity rally and candlelight vigil. Throughout the month,
they helped educate Gators on the importance of the month and the social injustices
the country faces today.
As of now, there is zero presence of SGA on campus. Their mural on the third floor of the academic building has since been replaced, and their office on the second floor remains empty as new first-year students walk by wondering what SGA is.
“I wouldn’t even know about them [SGA] if I never walked the second floor,” says UHD Freshman Cristina Ambrosio. “I thought they were supposed to help students with problems, but I have never seen anyone in there.”
Since the previous SGA failed to hold elections, the organization’s advisors reached out to UHD students to be part of the SGA Student Review Committee to write a new constitution since the last constitution expired in spring.
According to the Director of Student Life, Eugene Bernard, the student body responded with great interest in reviving the SGA.
Bernard states that in the meantime, “students selected for the committee have agreed to lead events and initiatives that were usually hosted by the SGA.”
The committee and advisors have partnered with the American Student Government Association to rewrite the constitution and provide professional guidance.
“The goal is to have SGA active on-campus as soon as possible following the confirmation of the new constitution,” says Bernard.
Students will not lose any privileges without a student government, assures the Dean of Students team.
“The Dean of Student Life office has an open-door policy and will work diligently to have an SGA organization soon and to address any concerns brought forward by the student body,” says Bernard.
A former member voiced their concerns stating there was harassment and mismanagement within SGA. Overall, they said that they were “thoroughly disappointed.”
“I joined SGA because I wanted to make a difference. I didn’t even know that it was a paid position, and ultimately, money was a factor that corrupted some of the other members,” said the former member. “Instead of helping the students, they [the SGA members] wanted to help themselves.”