Robert Lowe, Staff Writer
As students and professors begin the fall semester of the 2017-2018 school year, Armstrong’s new Student Government Association elects also take office. At the start of this fall semester, newly elected SGA President, Nipuna Ambanpola, began his term.
Ambanpola, a junior economics major, was elected President of Armstrong’s Student Government Association at the close of the spring semester in April of 2017.
One of Ambanpola’s major goals for the SGA this semester is to focus on collaboration and communication.
“This year is very special because students want communication and information, and [the SGA] need information from them,” Ambanpola stated.
To increase the communication between students and the SGA, the SGA has started a weekly video recap. Every Friday, the Vice President of Outreach launches a weekly press release video on the SGA’s Facebook and Instagram page. This weekly recap outlines what took place during that week’s Senate meeting, legislation that was brought forward, and any other events that took place during the week.
The SGA is also hoping to implement a written press release in Armstrong’s newspaper, The Inkwell, to utilize other platforms of communication.
Since this semester began, the SGA has already passed one resolution which was signed on Monday, Aug. 21. Armstrong students have already paid the Athletic fee for this semester, while Armstrong no longer has an active athletics program. This resolution approved the proposal that the already paid Athletic fees would be put towards the expansion of the recreation center and increasing the number of Recreation and Wellness programs.
Ambanpola also spoke on SGA’s role in the Georgia Southern and Armstrong consolidation. The SGA President explained that the consolidation offers many positive improvements for Armstrong, such as more programs, more resources and funding, and increasing the size of the university. However, he also acknowledged that it is important to keep the close-knit community that already exists on Armstrong’s campus.
“Our campus community is different from Statesboro, so we really want to make sure that the consolidation plays to our strengths and rarely to our weaknesses,” Ambanpola stated.
Armstrong’s SGA is also working to keep an independent student leadership body for each campus of the new Georgia Southern University. While there may be one Student Government Association over the entire university, they recognize the importance of having independent student leadership bodies for each campus that can address campus specific issues.
Furthermore, Ambanpola emphasized that his largest focus as SGA President is to represent students.
“I know this is a really hard task because I cannot speak to all 7,000 students, but I try and make sure that I am always involved on campus,” explained Ambanpola.
In addition to being SGA President, Ambanpola is also a Resident Assistant which allows him to stay in touch with the residential life on campus. The SGA President does his best to communicate with students by stopping by and participating in as many campus events as he can.
“This is not just a responsibility when I am in a Senate meeting or in my office. This is my job when we are walking and talking on campus, or even when we are eating in the galley,” said Ambanpola.
The SGA President encourages students to contact him and other SGA officers with any problems or issues they have. Ambanpola also explained that the SGA office is open for all students to use. Students are welcome to come in and study, use the computers, and chat with SGA members.
The Student Government Association will be hosting this semester’s block party on Aug. 30. There are already 45 student organizations that have signed up to participate in this semester’s block party.
For students that want to reach out to Armstrong’s SGA, there is a Senate meeting every Monday at 12:15 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom A. These meetings are open to all students, and include a time for a “presentation from the gallery” where students can voice any concerns they may have.
Students may also email SGA officers with any concerns they may have. SGA email addresses can be found on Armstrong’s website.