The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
During the SGA election cycle last year, I promised a few pretty big things, essentially boiling down to a desire to reform SGA into a responsive, efficient, and transparent body of student representatives. I said that those goals would be achieved with the implementation of a Student Government constitution, the creation of a website reporting SGA’s activities with a suggestion feature, and other initiatives. I still hold steady on these points, believing SGA can always be improved upon, and it’s going to be my goal until I hand over the reins of the Presidency to the next person you all elect.
The last issue of The Catalyst had a slew of articles discussing how effective SGA has been in implementing its goals, specifically citing that the Constitution has not yet been ratified, senior shirts have not yet been distributed, and that there is still a problem with school spirit at Ransom Everglades. These are all important points, and ones that I feel should be addressed.
First, I’d like to go over the website, as it hasn’t been discussed as heavily by the journalists at The Catalyst. The original plan was to create a website that could be accessed through MyCOMPASS. The communications committee outlined a beautiful website that was everything I had hoped for from this project. However, we had significant concerns about the use of a third party website for a school-related project, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for the Student Body to access the site whenever they wanted to. So we made the decision to switch the site from a third-party domain to MyCOMPASS. Yes, we are aware of the issues with MyCOMPASS (we need to check our homework, just like you), but we have full faith in the site to accomplish what we need it to accomplish. The page currently has descriptions of each committee, attendance for SGA meetings, club page links, an anonymous submission feature, and more. I look forward to sharing it with you all when the time comes (and that time should be soon).
Another issue which was raised was the lack of a senior shirt, and this is a simple issue. We’ve been working on a design for a while now, and we’ve had a rough idea of what we wanted to do since the beginning of the school year. But unfortunately, we haven’t been able to put the shirts into production yet as we’ve had to alter and even change the designs a couple times as we switched from distributor to distributor. We have finally arrived at a design we are happy with and is approved to be sent out. Those shirts will be coming soon.
Now for the more publicized point of contention, the constitution. The constitution has seen several complete revisions, changes in specific clauses, and other shifts since I announced its existence on August 21. I’ve personally met with Mr. Guzman several times to go over it, I’ve been asked questions about it consistently, and we’ve been working on getting it as perfect as a work-in-progress guiding document can be. And yes, it is a work-in-progress. We have an amendment clause that allows us to add onto the constitution whenever a significant need arises, to make sure the document stands the test of time. However, the news is true, it has not been officially ratified yet. The reason for this is simple: with Homecoming, Spirit Week, and our own schoolwork, we were uncomfortable putting out the document unless we were sure it had been refined as much as possible. But let it be known, although we have not officially ratified the constitution, we are still abiding by the provisions of the constitution. We did not write it for appearances. We wrote it to last, so we figured we might as well get used to what it says.
Now, however, we’re in peacetime. In the month since the chaos of Spirit Week (which I will discuss in a future Presidential Address), SGA has looked back at what has worked, what hasn’t, and what we can do from here. In that vein, the Activities Committee has planned the next two months of activities, with dress down days, movie nights, a student-faculty basketball game/pep rally, Valentine grams, the Winter Formal, and more. Our Director of Activities Loriz Arencibia ’23 has been doing a wonderful job of planning and executing our activities so far, and she is continuing that effort into the new year.
Looking towards the future, it’s important to recognize how far we’ve come and how far we can still go. There’s a lot left on SGA’s plate, and I am nowhere near finished sprucing up this organization before we pass it down to the grades that come after us. But do not fear, we have a busy schedule planned for the next few months, and I’m excited to see what everyone thinks.