SGA needs easy fixes to flawed structure


Illustration by Ella Schneider

Avery Dunn and Simone Schneider

Each year before spring break, Wilson holds its annual Student Government Association (SGA) elections. Students run for a variety of government positions and campaign for weeks prior. Speeches typically take place in the auditorium and are segregated by class. As the candidates take the podium, they seem calm and collected, projecting their hopes for the school along with their promise for a better year.

In general, political candidates rarely keep their campaign promises, and the SGA is no exception. The energy and commitment of the students dwindles over the year as they fail to implement seemingly simple changes. The somewhat hushed election process, alternative motives, unchanging pool of candidates, and the lack of punishment for uncommitted members does little to help the committee.

Elections are held at the end of each year for positions for the following year. This results in a period between elections and the end of the year during which incumbents lose motivation to do their jobs since they won’t be returning the following year.

This could easily be fixed. Instead of waiting for the next year for the newly elected to begin their jobs, SGA could utilize this “end-of-the-year period” as a transition time to integrate new officers into the SGA. This transition period would allow old officers to collaborate with new officers so they become familiar with their jobs, making them more prepared for the following year. It could also give the old members a morality boost, as they would feel motivated to inspire the new recruits. This would help many SGA-organized events, such as homecoming and the pep rally. During this transition period, both the old and new officers would begin to plan homecoming so it isn’t such a daunting task for the new members to do alone.

One of the biggest issues in the SGA is the voting process. Last year, the link to the Google document didn’t work and as a result, many students did not get a chance to vote. Paper ballots were used one year, but a lot of the teachers forgot to give them out. A solution to this could be a TinyURL for the Google survey which teachers could put up for 10 minutes at the beginning of class. Teachers need to be more persistent in encouraging voting, instead of simply pushing it aside. SGA officers could also be dispersed among classes to ensure that the voting is running smoothly.

Another issue Wilson is presented with is that candidates who are elected sometimes have little interest in carrying out their jobs, and instead run for their own personal reasons such as polishing their college applications. This means that jobs often aren’t done thoroughly and properly, which is a recurring issue throughout the year. “We are currently brainstorming methods to handle officers who have a history of poor attendance to meetings. It’s difficult because they were elected and the students want them in office. There isn’t a productive impeachment policy,” said Paige Hollander, the sophomore class president. A way that SGA could fix this problem is by implementing a system in which those who don’t do their job receive consequences. This would help to keep the leaders in check and ensure that everyone is held accountable for their participation, or lack thereof.

A way students could help fix SGA’s flaws is by voting for the candidates who are truly passionate about improving the school. This means they could help to solve many issues SGA faces in the committee before they arise. It’s time to reinvent the structure of SGA so it can fulfill its purpose: to serve the students of Wilson.