SGA President J.P. Carando on goals for new academic year

Hey everyone! I hope you are all settling in well as we start off the year. I’m pleased to report that your Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Board has been meeting since early August as a group and with administrative officials, such as President Hanno and Dean McCaffrey, about what we wish to accomplish this year. Now, after having our first Senate meeting and listening to what our senators had to say, I’d like to share some of our goals and expectations for this year.

One of SGA’s biggest goals is to give more responsibility to the student body. It was mentioned last semester during the town hall meeting that we, as students, felt like we weren’t being respected or treated like responsible adults. This year we fully intend to carry more on our shoulders so that we can earn the respect we feel we deserve. For those of us in student government, that means that we will dedicate ourselves to meeting regularly and working together to improve the college in as many ways as possible. However, we cannot do it without input and engagement from all of you.

Consequently, we intend to find effective ways to communicate with you all about campus issues, and to work directly with you as much as possible. For example, we will be working a lot more with social media and are going to try to set up easy-to-access online polls that you can all participate in, among other things. However, the best way to communicate is really just by getting to know each other, so don’t be a stranger! Feel free to get to know us and offer your input by coming to our meetings, shooting us emails, or just talking to us whenever you see us. We really want to make it possible for your voices to be heard, so action can be taken accordingly. We’d also like to see improved communication and mutual respect with our neighbors in the town of Norton.

On the flip side, we feel that things should be more transparent with both our student government and the administration. You all should know exactly what we are working on and how we are working on it, so that we can all be on the same page in understanding the challenges that we face as well as what is being done about them. In addition, we agree that students should not be in the dark about what the administration is working on, either. In order to shed more light on things and answer as many questions as we can, we will be working more closely with administrators this year and have already started off on the right foot in that regard.

Last but certainly not least, we wish to improve our social culture here at Wheaton. In particular, that means encouraging students to drink safely and setting a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct and assault. These offenses should be seen by our student body as matters to be taken extremely seriously. It’s our job to make Wheaton a place we can all feel safe and comfortable in and we are really working to make that the case.

Remember, all of us in the SGA had no experience at one point. We’d like to emphasize the fact that the Student Government Association is open to everyone and that all students are encouraged to participate in our work to better the Wheaton experience. You are as much a part of this school as the rest of us, and the more of us that do our part for ourselves and for our community, the more we can accomplish.