Student Government and Student Voice


Beverly Foster, Staff Reporter

New term elections for Student Government Association (SGA) are approaching. Students who are interested can pick up and fill out applications until the end of March. There will be a Candidate Forum on April 2 for any students interested in asking questions and getting to know the candidates who are running. Those interested can pick up and turn in applications in the Success Office. Students will need to collect 20 signatures from other students who are on campus to be added to the ballot. Voting will take place the week after the candidate forum.

President of SGA Dominique Lee spent the academic year building the association and its constitution from the bottom up. She wanted to build an association to fit the changing demographics of Lakeland University and make it a place where students feel safe and accepted. She sits in on board meetings to better understand the changes that will be set in place and is an advocate for student voice. She encourages students to be more vocal on matters that pertain to them.

SGA has been active in meeting many of the faculty and organizations to build trusting relationships and provide an open communication line. They want to build a foundation for students to be able to be more active in voicing their opinions and helping the school change in the way they would like it to. Lee stated, “The constitution is still in works. There were a lot of things that we had to take into consideration, such as the demographics, how Lakeland needs to do things from here on out and putting into consideration what the students want. Like, they want more programs, so we need to make sure our vice president of student activities stays there, because that program is important.”

Lee has fought for requests the students have brought to the attention of SGA. The recent addition of garbage cans in the women’s restrooms around campus is the first. Lee stated housing issues and the overall condition of the freshmen dorms are continually being spoken about. Lee stated that the main thing this year for student government was to build this trust with the people who work here and help us thrive as students. She wants them to understand that they can trust us as a student body and student government.

“You [the faculty] have all this wonderful knowledge and wisdom that we should definitely take into consideration. We are the students who live here and experience this on a daily life, and we just want to have a say,” Lee said. She says this trust between students and faculty is the driving point that will keep Lakeland moving forward.

Sophomore Chloe Skibinski heard of SGA through Lee and became interested in serving on the association. She is one of the potential candidates for the next academic term. “I was part of student council in high school, and I missed having a leadership role at school. I want Lakeland to become better than it already is.”

Skibinski would like to be more involved outside of the classroom. “I want to be a face at Lakeland that people recognize and a voice that helps us change. I want people to feel comfortable coming up to me with concerns or questions they have about campus. I want to learn more about what processes go on and the effectiveness of what they do.”