“I’m 21, and I want to be able to drink somewhere on campus aside from my apartment in Sutton.” “I think it’s a bit out of my way to walk really far to smoke a cig, but it’s better than nothing, I guess.” “I’m sorry, but I don’t feel that safe around campus, and Campus Safety isn’t helping much to be honest…” “Sodexo shouldn’t have so much control over my money, I mean, it’s mine!”
The Rollins Student Government Association has quite honestly heard it all—from everyone: our complaints, our disappointments and our disgust about all things wrong with Rolly Colly. Too often, we do not reflect and realize all that they have succeeded in doing for us as a student body. One thing commonly forgotten is that members of SGA are Rollins students also (hello, Student Government Association; not faculty or staff) and understand us better than anyone else could. That is why they represent us. Comprised of approximately 30 representatives, they allow us to represent ourselves through them. In doing so, the SGA members have grown proficient in responding to the needs of their peers.
We look first to Title IX. If you haven no heard about it yet, it is time to no longer be oblivious, but aware. As stated by Human Resources at Rollins, “Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) is [a] federal law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.” Prior to recent heightened awareness on issues of sexual assault, no one thought to speak out or address it. Yes, Rollins has the CAPS office, but there was still this pungent stigma about victims discussing sexual assault or supporters protesting it and its realities. Taking great pride in our progressiveness, Rollins now has an office for sexual assault victims. Thanks to the expressiveness and work of our SGA, a more prominent awareness of sexual assault has taken campus by storm and revolutionized our typically silent culture.
Our SGA is not an idle one. Issues in regards to campus safety are not shut down, as a few tend to believe. The representatives are aware of the concerns of the student body. They have spoken consistently with Campus Safety, planing to have three students attend their staff meetings. The idea of shuttle services to “hire professional drivers seven days a week, 6 p.m.-2 a.m. within a mile radius from the campus center [to] twelve bus stops” is something that the association presents at meetings when discussing campus safety.
Aware that Campus Safety does not own any appropriate off-campus road vehicles, discussions of using funding from parking decals to purchase safe student-run shuttles is a concept presented to help better the safety of Rollins students. These shuttles would go beyond the current limited spots to other campus owned locations, even as far as Fiddlers’ Green. The idea of student-operated shuttles also opens up the doors for another Work Study positions for our students.
Because the student body voiced their disdain about the limited outside food options, we are in the works of having our options expanded with Jimmy John’s and Tropical Smoothie.
With Dominoes cutting back their hours to midnight, our SGA is petitioning to have those hours extended. Extending the hours of Diane’s, renovating facilities, to create a Student Wellness outreach program through meeting with Dr. Brisco are just some other things that SGA works towards with the student body in mind. They are also highly aware of the faculty, too. They know that there is no recognition system outside of tenure recognition, and they are working to better this as well. SGA always holds their meetings open to the campus public as well as openly shares their minutes. Their agenda is nowhere near secretive. They work steadily and avidly to ensure that the demands, needs, and desires of students are heard and fought for. A huge thank you to the combined forces of our Student Government Association.
Photo courtesy of Rollins Flickr