SGA President presents on the State of the College


Thomas Neil during his presentation in Lyle’s Pub. Photo by John Brady.

Thursday night, Lyle’s Pub played host to Grinnell’s annual “State of the College” address. SGA President Thomas Neil ’13 spoke for half an hour concerning the challenges that the current SGA inherited from last year’s SGA and the progress of the semester so far.

Neil first noted the financial crisis, which he dubbed the “shitshow,” that the SGA received from last semester, which has caused them to spend with more caution.

“Honestly, the budget has been a blessing in disguise. I think it’s really been a useful constraint. It’s forced us to make more and do more with less and I think at the end of the day the organization is stronger for it,” he stated.

Neil went on to say that through events such as the two town halls earlier this semester, SGA is trying to promote pride within the organization. Neil also noted that the addition of student-athletes and North Campus residents as Cabinet members, senators and committee members seems to be addressing the issue of a campus divide, although he discouraged perpetuating the perceived issue.

“I’m not really sure it exists. And I think just continuing to discuss it doesn’t necessarily do us any favors. But with that being said, we did inherit the perception that there was a campus divide,” he said.

Speaking on Title IX and the issue of sexual assault, Neil stated that data on sexual misbehavior presented recently to the SGA is alarming.

“There’s really no greater priority than figuring out how we deal with [sexual assault] as a community,” Neil said.

The address also highlighted efforts by the SGA to increase representation of all Grinnellians by encouraging participation from underclassmen and through meetings with the Multicultural Leadership Council.

Other accomplishments observed by Neil were the renaming of Joint Board to Campus Council, the addition of both the Vice All Campus Events chair and the Diversity & Outreach Coordinator, as well as efforts to be more accountable and transparent.

Lastly, Neil summarized the semester for each department of SGA, especially pointing out that involvement among the student body has been high, namely in SGA committees, events such as the Sober Sex Retreat and attendance at movies.

Thomas Neil during his presentation in Lyle's Pub. Photo by John Brady.
Thomas Neil during his presentation in Lyle’s Pub. Photo by John Brady.