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SGA Can Help You and Here is How

Photo by Mallory Rodriguez

The student government association handles your money, but any University of North Georgia student can give their input on how to spend it.

SGA is in charge of the budgets for all clubs and organizations at UNG. Some of the money for that budget comes from fees students pay every semester to access places like the gym and the bookstore.

SGA allocates to student organizations and clubs through grants and other means.

UNG 2022-23 Student Government President, Anna Møller said, “If you were applying for my position, SGA president, then you’d have to say what is your agenda point, your mission for SGA.” As SGA president, she attends meetings and oversees student government for all five campuses.

This semester multiple positions were filled and according to the SGA website, there are still some positions available on the Blue Ridge and Cumming campuses. Inquiries about positions can be made on UNG Connect or via email to ‘[email protected]’. This semester many newly elected representatives filled vacant positions.

The application process for the numerous positions being filled requires applicants to note any previous experience, what their motivation for joining is, and then answer some role-specific questions.

SGA is broken into three sections, similar to the United States government. There is an executive branch that oversees all SGA matters, including keeping SGA running, providing a mission, goals and ideas for the year and helps represent students on issues. This branch also includes the chair positions, which are more campus oriented and specific.

There is one vice president per campus. Each vice president conducts a weekly meeting on their home campus. At these meetings, voting members discuss campus-specific issues, hear from student organizations and vote on things like funding for club mini-grants, budget allocations and club approvals.

“SGA as a whole is a student’s voice, so we sit on committees, we do advocacy work working with the administration, and with each other to represent the students and better the student experience. That’s the overall mission of SGA,” Møller said.

The second structure is the legislative branch which is the senate. The SGA senate creates and votes on resolutions to change SGA and ways to better the student experience such as parking and transportation services or the academic affairs rules on the drop/add period. The senate works more with the administration than the students.

The third structure is the chair “branch.” While chair positions are involved with the executive branch in overseeing SGA, this branch is where they mainly operate.

Students can be directly involved with the chair branch as this group has weekly meetings open to the student body. These meetings happen weekly at designated times on each campus and are led by the respective campus vice president.

Møller said any student can become a voting member by attending three consecutive meetings on their home campus. This means students can directly influence where their money goes.

“The executive part of SGA heavily represents students on the administrative side,” said Møller. Organizations that are present on multiple campuses will be represented in the executive part of SGA, instead of by the chairs and Senate. The executive members cover the budget allocations for the multi-campus organizations.

Møller says any organization looking for extra money, grants, or funding should start by making sure they are an official organization on UNG Connect, but that deadline has passed. After that, the organization would need to fill out an everything form on UNG Connect.

Then a representative from the organization would attend one of the specified campuses’ general meetings to defend and explain what the grant is for and why it is needed. SGA would then vote on the grant the following week.

Møller suggests organizations apply for funding four to five weeks before they actually need it. In early February, organizations can secure funding for the following academic year by submitting a budget request. She says this helps organizations to potentially skip the grant process or need less from the grant process.

SGA can be reached via email at [email protected].

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SGA Can Help You and Here is How