SA helps students, local community
August 25, 2006 —
The start of the school year brings another year of activity from the SVSU Student Association (SA). However, there are many incoming and current students who are unaware of how SA functions and what it can do for the student body.
SA offers a number of services, which include providing several scholarships to students, helping with the study abroad program, and helping to purchase equipment for sports teams.
"At the start of each year, we are given a budget to work with," says SA President Andy Suszek, "but much of it goes directly back to the students."
In addition, SA helps to put on several events around campus with Suszek citing Battle of the Valleys and Relay For Life as two of SA's biggest events in the past few years.
The Battle of the Valleys is a fundraising competition with Grand Valley State University that, as Suszek puts it, "is meant to build camaraderie among the students, not build competition between schools." It helps to raise money for local children's charities through community fund-raisers, such as bake and t-shirt sales. SVSU raised more than $13,000 during last year's competition.
Relay For Life is widely considered the most successful fund-raising event in the nation and marquee event of the American Cancer Society. It is an overnight community-based event in which participants walk a certain number of miles that coincide with the amount of money donated. In 2005, the Relay For Life raised over $28,000.
To join SA, students must campaign against each other. Each fall, five freshmen are elected with the winners announced around the time of the Homecoming football game. The general election for the remaining representative positions and the election of the president occurs in the spring.
SA committee meetings are generally held on Sundays in the SA office. According to Suszek, these meetings are not very heated as they consist mostly of SA members filling one another in on what is happing with certain events.
"You'll get a five minute debate that may get pretty hot," he says, "but that's it."
General House meetings are held in the Multi-Purpose Room every other Monday during the fall with the first being held on Aug. 28.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend both the committee and House meetings.
The SA office is located in the east end of the first floor of Curtiss Hall, in room 124. Those interested in SA or that have questions are asked to visit the office during the school day to speak to a representative.