SGA looking forward to productive year

Two students dip their pencils in the fountain on the first day of school as another student takes their photo. SGA members said they wanted to bring back the dip because it has been a campus tradition in the past.

As school leaps back into session, SGA leaders are eager to maintain a positive environment on campus — a place where students want to get involved.

SGA officers were elected last semester, as well as senators and program council members were chosen. Members of Senate and UPC narrowed down and established goals for the 2014-2015 school year during their summer retreat.

“We are going to push positivity because everybody is important. From the janitors on staff to the students, we are all one big unit. And if we want UNA to excel, we have to come together,” said Senate Vice President Nick Lang. “SGA knows that everybody is important, and that everybody plays a vital role in UNA and the community.”

The goals set for this year’s Senate branch include collaborating with students and the community and increasing student participation in SGA activities, Lang said.

Senate has started off the year strong connecting students with Florence and campus communities through events such as Lion Night and The Lucky Dip, he said.

Junior Hailey Blankenship, who took the lucky dip on the first day of school, said it helped students connect with UNA.

“I think that The Lucky Dip was a fun thing for UNA to do. We didn’t really have any first day traditions, so it’s great that someone finally started one,” Blankenship said.

Future projects are already in the works, Lang said. Those plans include updating the paw prints that can be seen on Court Street downtown.

He said Senate also wants to get students involved with voting on campus and voicing their opinions.

Only 311 students voted in last year’s SGA elections, but Lang said he hopes better marketing in addition to rewarding students for voting may increase participation.

UPC Vice President Daniel Thompson said he hopes to receive more feedback from students to help with future events.

“We are here for the students,” Thompson said. “We are reaching out to them to make sure to get feedback about what they want to do.”

He said the main goal UPC has is to bring the best possible entertainment to students and to let students know there are options to enjoy themselves on campus.

Thompson said a large number of students attend events like the spring concert, but he hopes to increase attendance at other events by providing top-notch entertainment and spreading the word through social media.

“There’s plenty of opportunity for students to enjoy themselves on campus,” he said. “We’re trying to show them what they can do through SGA.”

He said UPC is currently working on making homecoming a weeklong event to increase school spirit.