SGA says ‘Let’s Talk,’ students talk back


Kelly Wenzel

Members of the Student Government Association held an open discussion with students about campus concerns and issues at its annual “Let’s Talk” forum.

By Assistant

The Student Government Association held its annual “Let’s Talk” college wide forum Nov. 18 for students to express their concerns about the college at Hokin Hall in the 623 S. Wabash Ave. Building.

Topics of discussion included campus security, cross-discipline technology accessibility, affordability and diversity throughout the student body and organizations. 

Sara Kalinoski, sophomore science & mathematics major and president of the SGA, said the organization is seeing increased interaction with students and hopes SGA’s initiatives will continue to have this effect. 

“Spreading awareness has been a major thing,” Kalinoski said. “In years past, many people didn’t even know we had an SGA, and now we’re seeing more students know what student government is, participating and coming to our meetings with issues they want addressed.”

Kalinoski said SGA has seen great turnouts at events this year, including its Oct. 16 “Pizza with the President” event, which had President Kwang-Wu Kim discussing student success with more than 150 students, according to Kalinoski.

“It is imperative that we have students give feedback to SGA,” Kalinoski said. “That is what we function on and are advocating for [in order] to represent students and advocate for their voice.”

The SGA plans to continue fostering open dialogue with students in the coming semester, Kalinoski said. She also sits on the college’s Strategic Planning Committee and said she looks forward to using similar platforms to speak for students.

“We are going to continue advocating for textbook affordability, community and collaboration between the departments,” Kalinoski said. “We are working with faculty so that we can have one Columbia.” 

She added that students have voiced their dismay about the separation of departments and said SGA is intent on combating dissatisfaction among students in different disciplines.

Teddie Hill, executive vice president of SGA and a junior journalism major, said SGA is pleased with the responsiveness of students over the past semester and will continue to increase its presence at college-wide events so students are aware of SGA’s accessibility.

“One thing SGA has been working on is supporting the events of other student organizations,” Hill said. “We are going to continue to be present at these events so students can be familiar with us.”

Hill said SGA realizes its importance on campus and is focused on creating solutions for student issues. She said it is taking action to ensure student concerns are addressed so they can feel protected by their student government.

“Students will be looking for follow-up when we create our initiatives from information we’ve gathered from them and are looking forward to seeing our presence and staying connected with us,” Hill said.

Lindsey Wright, a freshman creative writing major, said she is glad she had the opportunity to speak about some of her experiences at the college and  learn valuable information about services offered to students, such as the security guards in each building and being able to escort students to the CTA or home if needed.

Wright said she wanted to see SGA more abundantly present on campus because after attending the two SGA events. She said she learned viable information from SGA that she might not have gotten otherwise and hopes it becomes a trend throughout the year.

“I definitely feel like I’ve been heard,” Wright said. “It was good seeing the SGA again and learning more about what they do.”