SGA elections kick off

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Story by Da’Sha TuckStaff writer

The job of each Student Government Association representative is different, but the end goal has been the same for 80 years: serving and representing the students at Murray State.

“There are fewer organizations on campus as historic and student-focused than the Student Government Association,” said Clint Combs, SGA’s 66th and current president.

SGA has more than 50 positions which are split into four branches including Student Senate, Judicial Board, Residential College Association and Campus Activities Board. All positions will be up for election March 14-15.

GETTING INVOLVED WITH SGA

For some students who are involved, their student government experience began in high school.

“I was involved in high school and I knew I wanted to extend that involvement into my college career,” said Christian Barnes, sophomore from Nortonville, Kentucky, who serves as a senator at large as well as vice chair of the government relations committee.

Barnes was SGA president for all four years in high school. He said after first moving onto Murray State’s campus he immediately applied for a freshman senate position.

Each term lasts a full academic year.

Caitlin Dunaway, junior from Luka, Illinois, and current publications and literature senate chairman, said she first got involved with SGA as a freshman. She has since served as a freshman senator, a senator at large and currently the publications and literature senate chair.

Dunaway said she heard about SGA through a friend who was involved, and Dunaway knew she wanted to be a part of the organization.

“I asked Ava Jackie about SGA my freshman year,” she said. “If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have got involved in SGA and my college experience would not have been as rewarding.”

HOLDING THE POSITION

Most positions within SGA are elected positions. The student body elected Barnes as senator at large in March 2015.

He said he represents all students, not just specific constituents, when voting on matters and making decisions that affect the university. He also serves on several university-wide committees.

Barnes is also the vice chairman of the government relations committee. In this position, Barnes maintains communication between the Kentucky General Assembly and Murray State to ensure a positive relationship.

Barnes also implements programs that allow students to voice their concerns to the university.

“The most stressful part of my position is just making sure all planned events are implemented successfully,” Barnes said.

JUGGLING COURSEWORK AND SGA

Through SGA, Barnes said he has learned invaluable leadership abilities, time management skills, event planning capabilities and networking.

“I have made countless and such valuable connections with both faculty and staff on campus,” Barnes said. “The most important aspect of networking, of course, are the students.”

Dunaway said she has made friends through SGA and had several opportunities to meet and work with the highest faculty members on campus.

“They have made my time in SGA an unforgettable experience,” Dunaway said.

After each term, the representatives who aren’t graduating have to choose to continue with SGA or not. Some students do and others move on to different activities. 

Dunaway has been involved in SGA since her freshman year and plans to continue her involvement. On the other hand, Barnes will not be returning.

“I am always looking for areas on campus where I can make the most impact,” Barnes said. “At this time, SGA is not that place.”

Barnes said he would not trade the two years he was involved with SGA for anything.

“SGA will always be a part of me and my experience that I have had here at Murray State,” Barnes said.

MAKING CONNECTIONS

Through SGA, Barnes said he has learned invaluable leadership abilities, time management skills, event planning capabilities and networking.

“I have made countless and such valuable connections with both faculty and staff on campus,” Barnes said. “The most important aspect of networking, of course, are the students.”

Dunaway said she has made friends through SGA and had several opportunities to meet and work with the highest faculty members on campus.

“They have made my time in SGA an unforgettable experience,” Dunaway said.

After each term, the representatives who aren’t graduating have to choose to continue with SGA or not. Some students do and others move on to different activities. 

Dunaway has been involved in SGA since her freshman year and plans to continue her involvement. On the other hand, Barnes will not be returning.

“I am always looking for areas on campus where I can make the most impact,” Barnes said. “At this time, SGA is not that place.”

Barnes said he would not trade the two years he was involved with SGA for anything.

“SGA will always be a part of me and my experience that I have had here at Murray State,” Barnes said.