Dozens of student body presidents from across the University System of Georgia (USG) met recently on the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Dahlonega Campus to discuss how they can each "leave a legacy of leadership."
Known as the Student Advisory Council (SAC), the group was formed by the USG Board of Regents with the mission to report to the board on issues that are important to the system's more than 300,000 students.
"UNG provides the perfect backdrop for the Student Government Association (SGA) presidents to round out their experience in the SAC," said Dr. Janet Marling, vice president for student affairs at UNG. "As a designated state leadership institution, we pride ourselves on having high expectations for our students and for the work we are doing to prepare them to be leaders in a diverse and global society. Several of the presidents have previously been to the Dahlonega Campus to participate in the L3 Leadership Summit, and they have been very complimentary of what they have learned and hope to continue to learn from our students, staff and administrators."
UNG has several SGA presidents due to multiple campuses, and each said the meeting is a unique opportunity to compare notes with SGA leaders from other institutions.
"These meetings are so important for the prosperity of Georgia's higher education institutions," said Grace Magrino, SGA president of UNG's Oconee Campus. "I find huge benefits from meeting with my peers who go through a similar college experience. We all remain in contact throughout the year, and we give and receive advice on current issues at our respective institutions, as well as provide moral support during those crazy weeks packed with both meetings and class assignments. However, nothing compares to the valuable times when we are able to communicate our initiatives and issues face to face and find an overlap in problems that are spread across the state of Georgia."
During this most recent conference, sector groups initiated "End of the Year Reports," where the SAC finds major overlap in '15-'16 issues. They will later present these to the USG Board of Regents along with recommended solutions.
"This report will highlight all of the wonderful work that has been done by the SGAs across the state," said Michaela Climer, SGA president for UNG's Dahlonega Campus. "The University System of Georgia is lucky to have these students as allies in the mission to create a more educated Georgia and to provide an affordable and high quality learning environment for the citizens of our state. The conference is just one of the many outlets the SAC uses to influence change and to serve our students. It has been beneficial to me to have a group of individuals that can understand and relate to the issues that such a small population of college students tries to work through."
SGA presidents of the USG are also supporting the It's On Us campaign, which asks all involved to make a personal commitment to keep women and men safe from sexual assault.