SGA president urges students to use organization as platform for discussion


Photo credit/ Amanda Duncklee

SGA President Melissa Kowalski, junior international business and Spanish major, discusses recent petitions.

Amanda Duncklee, Community Editor

In the wake of students creating a petition last week asking Marywood administrator’s for more transparency, the president of the Student Government Association (SGA) is offering to help facilitate the dialogue.

However, the organization is less than prepared as a result of budget cuts with have affected the amount of training the SGA delegates have been able to undergo.

“This petition is asking for a platform to discuss the school’s issues,” said Melissa Kowalski, a junior international business and Spanish major and president of the SGA. “SGA is that platform for students. We have connections with faculty members.”

The petition is a direct result of two sets of fliers, one from a group known as ‘Faculty for a Better Marywood’ and another simply called ‘The Blacklist.’ The fliers began circulating around campus last week, and detailed the state of Marywood’s financial affairs and faculty and student dissatisfaction with Marywood’s administration.

Kowalski said she meets with Sr. Anne Munley, Ph.D, IHM, president of Marywood, each month.

“She is more than receptive to student input,” said Kowalski.

According to Kowalski, SGA is eager to help the students as it is their job. However, she admits they are a bit unprepared to do so.

“So much has happened in the past week. SGA wants to act as a platform for student voices, but our representatives are unprepared as they have not been through training,” said Kowalski.

As a direct result of the budget cut, elected officials of SGA were unable to come back to campus prior to the start of the semester for the traditional five-day training program. Students would have stayed at the respective dormitories and had three meals a day on campus, but SGA was unable to cover the cost.

“Our training involves leadership training, goal setting, and electing officials,” said Kowalski. “It was a drawback to not have training prior to the start of the school year since officials are not as well-informed as I would have liked them to be.”

This year’s training will take place September 13 for all elected officials.

Kowalski said that SGA had contacted students responsible for the flier to no avail. “I expressed my concerns that SGA already exists and that we want to work with students responsible for the flier, but they declined,” said Kowalski. “We at SGA are confused since we want to be the platform for student voices.”

Sophomore Nursing Major Caylee Bruff said that she thinks taking on issues via SGA requires dedication.

“I have never been to an SGA meeting,” said Bruff. “I don’t have time since I am a busy nursing student. I’d rather a passionate person want to change the school and give their two cents rather than me, a person who could not give their full effort.”

“At our next meeting, we plan on discussing student voices and concerns; we have an open floor at the end of each meeting,” said Kowalski. “I think the students’ voices are extremely important, and I want to talk about these issues. That is what we are here for.”

SGA meets every other Tuesday at the Schwartz Center in Conference Room B.

The next meeting is Sept. 15 at 9 p.m. Students are welcome to attend as well as e-mail SGA at [email protected] for information.

Correction: The article previously stated that students would be staying at the Woodlands Apartments, but this has been changed to reflect that students are actually staying in their respective dorms.

Contact the writer: [email protected]