SGA Wheaton

SGA Crisis of Participation

Wheaton’s Student Government Association (SGA) is currently going through a period of sparse student participation. In the most recent SGA elections held in March 2024, many Class Council and Executive Board Chair positions did not have any candidates running, while many others had candidates running unopposed. This crisis of participation has also reached SGA’s Executive Boards, organizations which go largely unnoticed but play an important role in campus life nonetheless.

SGA Executive Boards are a part of Wheaton’s student government that helps student voices in different aspects of life on campus. They are led by a chair who is elected by the student body and also serves as a voting member of the SGA Senate where they advocate for the student body in their boards aspect of Wheaton life. Boards fill out the rest of their ranks, including positions similar to those of most club executive boards and members at large, by recruiting from the student body. 

The boards will hold regular meetings to discuss issues that fall into their area of responsibility and work to resolve questions, comments, and complaints from students. Executive Boards may also liaise with various Wheaton faculty and administrative organizations to advocate the interests of students.

Existing SGA Executive Boards include Accessibility Board, Intercultural Board, Sexuality and Gender Identity, Education Council, Sustainability Board, Student Alumni Association, and College Hearing Board.

Some SGA Executive Boards are better known than others, but many of them operate with only a few members, making their work difficult and frustrating their leaders. The Student Alumni Association and Education Council, for example, which coordinate networks between students and alumni and certain academic issues for students respectively, both struggle with the numbers of people involved on their boards. 

Even if students do not want to commit to involvement with an Executive Board, Education Council Co-Chair Eleanor Swindler urges students to make their voices heard. “My greatest piece of advice, as intimidating as it may be, is to go to the Senate,” she said.

Senate meetings take place every Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Emerson Faculty Dining and are open to the student body. Besides providing a great opportunity for students to hear about what is going on on their campus, students can also ask questions or make suggestions. Core Four and Executive Boards also usually hold open hours for students to come in and talk.

SGA is itching for more student participation. Education Council Co-Chair Sara Milesi highly encourages students to get in contact, saying, “All you have to do is email any exec position holding member and they will immediately get back to you!”