After a year of working to benefit the Texas Tech community, the Student Government Association is once again going through changes as the semester ends.
Throughout this year, the 2018-2019 SGA executive officers have accomplished a variety of their goals from day one to the last day of their administration.
Sean Lewis, a senior history major from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and former SGA president, said it is difficult for him to choose one favorite SGA accomplishment of this year.
“What I set out at the beginning of the term, what my team and I believed our mission to be is enhancing the Red Raider experience for students on campus,” he said. “I always said in meetings with the internal team, meetings with administrators, meetings with other students is my goal, and our goal is to focus on the bread and butter issues.”
Throughout this year, Lewis said bread and butter issues consisted of factors that impact student retention and the community. Regarding campus progress, he said his team, which consisted of former SGA Internal Vice President Amber Acklie, former SGA External VP Jude Al-hmoud and former SGA Graduate VP John Michael Getz, worked to resolve these issues to benefit students’ experiences at Tech.
His team’s work with Raider Red’s Food Pantry and campus-wide food drives, improving campus safety and announcing students’ honors at commencement ceremonies are accomplishments Lewis said were his favorite.
In addition to his excitement for his team’s accomplishments this year, Lewis said he is also excited for what David Rivero, 2019-2020 SGA president, has in store for next semester. Rivero’s team, which consists of SGA Internal VP Emily Garcia, SGA External VP Miranda Davis and SGA Graduate VP Avery Aiken, has a good foundation to continue the work of past SGA administrations.
“I think they’re in a good position. I’m excited to see what they achieve,” Lewis said.
With the start of the new semester, the next SGA administration may face a variety of issues that need to be resolved.
SGA Director Micheal Gunn said the new administration still has more to accomplish in the coming year.
“After meeting with the new officers coming in and hearing some of their initiatives and their goals for the year, I think that we’re in that place where we’re actually going to recoup even more in the future,” he said.
During next year, Gunn said he hopes the SGA administration can bond with the community on campus.
“One of the issues I’m really concerned with is their connection to the student population,” Gunn said. “Sometimes, being in student government, being a student leader removes people from the populous.”
After meeting with Rivero, Gunn said he learned the new administration wants to be more connected to the Tech community.
“I look forward to his administration coming in and actually reaffirming that association with students and actually making themselves accessible to the students,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success, and we’ve actually done some community building, but I look for this next year to be more involved.”
In addition to the changes made to prepare the new administration, efforts are being made to begin the administration’s initiatives.
Davis, a junior political science major from Wichita Falls, said a lot of hard work has gone into preparing for next year.
“Growing together as individuals in a professional and personal level over these past months has been so rewarding,” she said.
Uber and Lyft pick up spots around campus and community outreach are some of the initiatives Davis said she and her team are working to execute.
“A lot of our initiatives are taking away the financial burden of an everyday student,” she said.
Rivero, a junior finance and political science major from Lovington, New Mexico, said most of the administration will be working on SGA plans over the summer.
“First and foremost, Red Raider Orientation is what’s next. We have a new class of incoming first-year students, and we will be speaking at a lot of those orientations,” he said.
During orientation, Rivero said SGA will inform incoming students about what student government does and get them excited for the new semester. The administration will also make a strategic plan for the new year.
In addition to the goals his team hopes to achieve while in office, Rivero said he hopes to continue the work Lewis’ administration has done. Lewis’ administration laid out the groundwork for their plans.
“We have worked very closely together on a few initiatives,” he said. “We fully intend to carry those initiatives out.”
Regardless of the changes and accomplishments throughout the year, Lewis, who will be attending the Tech School of Law in the fall, said he is excited for what will occur next semester.
“I’m just excited to see where this campus is going to go and the initiatives that other students continue to champion,” Lewis said. “I think we’re in such an incredible place, and we’re just going to keep making progress every year.”