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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Final State of the College

On Monday evening, SGA President Neo Morake ’09 capped off her term with this semester’s State of the College address.

The speech, which was attended by approximately 30 students, drew from material in SGA’s presentation during the recent Trustee weekend, but was adapted to focus on student issues. “The State of the College address should basically be what has SGA been up to, for people who don’t read the minutes, or go to Joint Board,” Morake said.

Both the Trustee presentation and State of the College address focused on the increased tension between various groups on campus this academic year. “Obviously, I feel like trust and communication are things this campus will also have to focus on,” Morake said. “And it’s kind of hard to do that if there are factions of the campus that aren’t necessarily in good terms with each other.”

In addition to focusing on tension and transparency on campus, the presentation touched upon a number of programs implemented by SGA over the course of this semester. Morake claimed Gender Neutral Housing, the recently approved Prison Accreditation Program, and a number of passed student initiatives which have been implemented by StiFund, among others as programs which SGA has been involved with over the course of the semester.

The more substantive nature of the second State of the College address matches this semester’s Cabinet and Joint Board, which has seen an increase in both its presence and effects on campus. “It was a learning process. My whole cabinet learned a lot about how to handle situations on this campus,” Morake said. “I think we have really grown this year.”

But the structure of the event still encountered a problematic trend, low attendance. The State of the College address, which is mandated each semester by the SGA constitution, has been plagued by attendance problems during each of the two speeches this year. This semester’s event drew around 30 students, an even smaller audience attendance than during first semester’sevent. The crowd was dominated by students with direct involvement with either Cabinet or Joint Board, and included only a few students at large.

Krejsa noted this problem, and said he hoped to expand the audience for the speeches next year. “I think it would be important to try and coincide state of the school’s with policy initiatives or explanations of things that we’re doing, or new solutions that we have for things,” Krejsa said. “I hope to make more of an event out of it with food, to make it less of a business occasion and more of a social occasion.”

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