The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter: A welcoming message from SGA

On behalf of the entire SGA cabinet, welcome back. We return (or, in the case of the class of 2013, arrive) to old and new friends, gorgeous (if fleeting) weather and a campus abuzz with the start of a new year.  We also find a community in the midst of self-doubt and proud protection of tradition, of enduring values and broken assumptions. Looming over an already challenging time of transition is the search for the next president of Grinnell College, a decision that will undoubtedly define the direction of our community for the next decade.

We are challenged to defend what Grinnell means to us and, much more difficultly, to describe what it is that must be done to preserve it. Forty-two years ago on this very campus, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his sermon, “Remaining Awake During a Revolution.” Student leadership and engagement is crucial at this time. The voice of the student body cannot be heard unless it is spoken, so stand up and get to it. Go to forums and info sessions, petition your student government, speak to your professors and administrators. Do not let history pass you by.

That said, do not let yourself be deluded. A new president will not swoop in and immediately remedy all of Grinnell’s troubles, enshrine all of its traditions or chart a bold course into a more just world that lands us all the jobs, graduate schools and service opportunities we dream of. You must work now to ensure that the Grinnell he or she arrives at is on the track we want it to be.

It is no ordinary year, and we plan to be no ordinary SGA. In addition to our regular duties of managing a budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars and coordinating the work of dozens of policy-making committees, we have been working since May with students, faculty and staff in various departments of the college to push an agenda of reform and innovation. We have created a new, provisional budgetary committee to partner with the Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice in providing a safety net for community service funding. Later this year we will be recruiting student representatives to join the Student Affairs personnel searches for a new health center director and the beginning of an on-campus mental health service. We are negotiating road maps to disciplinary reforms, including selection of student representation on the College Hearing Board and continuing to build upon the successful trial membership of students on the Committee for Academic Standing.

To do all this, we need your help. Remain engaged, volunteer for committees and make your suggestions and criticism known.  Crucially, consider running for SGA senator or encourage someone you know who may be a good candidate. This year we will be expecting more from our senators, pushing them to not only show up and vote, but to excel in their duties to Joint Board as an idea factory and to their constituents as a gatherer of opinion and a distributor of information. Applications are in the mail room and the SGA Offices (JRC 222), and are due back to the Administrative Coordinator’s box in the SGA Offices by 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6. Candidate open forums for each dorm cluster and off-campus constituents will be Monday night, and voting will begin at 12 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 8.

As always, if you have any questions, want to get involved but don’t know how, or need any help at all, email us at [sga1]—if we can’t help you, we know who can.

—Harry Krejsa ’10
SGA President

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