Student Government Association’s play an essential role at universities across the country, this includes here at Oklahoma Christian University. SGA provides students with a voice they can use to represent the entire student body. However, here at Oklahoma Christian it is well known that voting participation among students in SGA polls is less than 25%. This lack of participation hurts us not only during our time at the university, but when we graduate as well.
I know I am not the only student at Oklahoma Christian who has complaints towards some aspect of the university. Many students take to social media to voice their complaints. While this may be gratifying and sufficient for some students it does not help to make changes on campus. Creating change on campus is difficult, but SGA’s purpose is to be representative of the students and to allows us to have an avenue to do more than just talk about what we want to change about campus. Things such as voting and open town halls planned by SGA have the potential to change the landscape of campus, but the lack of participation from students makes this task more difficult. And, as students why would we not want to help shape our campus into what we want it to be.
The more students that are active in SGA voting the easier it becomes for SGA to try and make changes over things students want. Student participation gives SGA a clear idea about what students are concerned about and want to change on campus. By not participating SGA’s mission to advocate for students becomes more challenging because the administration does not get to hear student’s opinions.
Being involved in SGA’s business also helps to keep students informed with happenings on campus. Whether it be extra-curricular activities or town halls over hot issues on campus, involvement with SGA keeps students keyed into what is happening on campus. Being informed should be a goal every student at Oklahoma Christian should have. It is our university and the more responsibility we take for it the better it will become, and the easiest way for us to do this is through SGA.
The principle importance of involvement in SGA also goes beyond Oklahoma Christian. By voting and participating in SGA students are creating good voting habits heading into the real world. Because SGA and the real government essentially aim to accomplish the same things for their represented populations an understanding of one will help with an understanding of the other. So, being more involved with SGA will help to create a foundational understanding of government as a whole.
For students wanting to get involved in the political world post-graduation SGA is a great option to get involved with public service. By advocating for student concerns and trying to bring about change students gain a great understanding of the voting process and the cost of bringing about change. Which, for anyone wanting to get involved in politics is an important foundation to have.
As a senior I would encourage students to become more involved with SGA. Taking pride in our university starts with our involvement on campus. A voting rate of 25% does not represent a student population that cares about what is happening. If we want the best possible campus for students the best way to achieve it is by getting involved with SGA to voice our concerns.