Every other week, The Talon interviews a member of the Oklahoma Christian University community, a “Newsmaker,” to answer questions about their role on campus.
On Aug. 30, The Talon interviewed Madison Stephens, the president of the Student Government Association (SGA) this year.
What was your reaction to being elected SGA president?
“The first thing I did was tell Katie and Micah from last year that I was elected. I was really excited because I loved being on the executive team as vice president. Now, I get to be on it as president.
The really cool thing about being SGA president is that you get to interact with a lot of our faculty and staff. I’ve already had meetings with Dr. Starr, and you get to work with a lot of different organizations. I was really excited to get to know all of these people through SGA.”
What sets you apart from previous SGA presidents?
“One thing that sets me apart is that I had the opportunity to be the SGA vice president last year, so I already know how the executive team works together. I also have a lot of experience with putting on activities for the students.
It’s really cool to be able to step up to the president role and take more of a delegation standpoint. I have to meet all of the faculty and see what people from Oklahoma Christian need from SGA.”
What kind of obstacles have prevented SGA goals in the past? How do you plan to navigate those obstacles this year?
“One obstacle in the past has been with committees who don’t have much follow-through because of a lack of an executive team member on them. One thing I’m looking to do this year is be a little bit more interactive with all the different committees, even if I’m not the committee chair. I want to be involved in getting our campus spirit up, making sure we do our campus improvements and all of those things as well. So that’s something I’m looking forward to doing.”
Has being SGA president met your expectations, or are you encountering some surprises with the job? What’s been your experience so far?
“It’s been a little busier than I originally thought it was going to be. I’ve had a lot of meetings so far. One thing we did this past Monday was our organization fair with all the different clubs you can sign up for on campus to showcase their programs to the students.
Something new I’m doing this year is an athletics fair, which will be held on Monday, Sept. 4. We’ll have all the different sports teams from campus at tables with flyers to hand out about their sporting events and their schedule for the year.”
What has changed for you personally since becoming president?
“What has changed for me personally is my understanding of how the different people in SGA work together. There’s people that are there for the first time, and then there’s people that have been involved for all the years that they’ve been at Oklahoma Christian. I’ve been trying to understand different people’s perspectives and where they’re coming from. Additionally, I think something else that has changed for me is my ability to understand both the student standpoint and the faculty standpoint.”
What is one piece of advice you would give to students wanting to become leaders at Oklahoma Christian?
“One piece of advice I would give is to meet as many people as you can. People at Oklahoma Christian are really friendly. Meet as many people as you can and get involved in some different organizations, see what you like. There’s lots of things you can do just within your major. There’s also lots you can do outside of your major as well. I would really encourage everyone to get involved in some different organizations.”
What are your biggest goals and plans for SGA this year?
“My biggest goals for SGA this year are to promote SGA visibility on campus, maintain retention and promote campus spirit.”
What made you want to pursue the position of SGA president?
“I wanted to continue to serve on the executive SGA team because you can really see the good they do for the students. One thing I like to make sure of is if somebody comes up to me and they have a concern, (normally, it’s about food related things) I try to make sure that concern is heard. If I have a meeting with somebody who can do something about it, we’ll talk about it. I like to make sure, as SGA president, that people’s voices are being heard.”
How do you balance SGA with your student life?
“One helpful way I balance SGA with student life is by having hours that are dedicated to SGA. Whenever I’m in the Student Life office, it’s SGA time. I use locations and hours of the day to help me discern what to spend my time on.”