On the Changes to SGA

A Letter from the President

 

Dear friends,

It has been the highest honor of my time at Ave Maria to serve as your representative. As Freshman Class Rep, Treasurer and President, I have thoroughly enjoyed serving you through Student Government Association.

If it weren't for the incredible and inspiring students here, I wouldn't do it. I'm so proud of the Council's growth over the past three years, and it was the work of many tireless students that made it happen. Beyond the Council, there have been many leaders who have shaped this campus into what it is today. The students are what makes a university, and I believe the students truly make Ave one of a kind. We recruit a different type of person, and our University has a unique mission that sets us apart.

You are why I've continued to serve in Student Government. I envision Ave Maria having the most vibrant campus culture around - one where every student finds their niche and excels in it. A place where everyone contributes to the good of each other. I also love SGA because it's different from the way SGA is usually run. Instead of lobbying for changes, we directly are able to make a difference in the University. (We created this page to talk about that!)

I have many fond memories of the time I've spent on Student Government. The reps really care, and I won't forget the good memories we made serving you. All year I've said I want to be as " non-government-yas possible, a word I made up that has a pretty simple meaning. We try to operate more like a business than a government - responding quickly to problems and working to earn your trust. They've done a great job with this. We ask serious questions and dig to figure out the solutions to challenges we face.

I've long believed in the saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I'm sad to report that, clearly, the Administration believes something is broken and needs to be fixed. This broken system is one which has begun renovating 15 common spaces this year; hosted Ave's Got Talent, the All Saints' Day Feast, St. Patrick's Day/BOTB with SAB; promoted students and staff through our Humans of Ave campaign; and has processed over 87% more bills than last year. They say it isn't broken, but can't provide any other logical reasoning for this change. I don't believe the system is broken.

Alongside this saying, it's fair to say there's always room for improvement. We've worked to improve the system over the past few years and become as open, transparent, and approachable as possible. We recognize some areas that we want to improve and had planned to keep tweaking. Sadly, they must not see our work in the same light as we do.

I am deeply saddened by and frustrated with these changes. So much of what we've worked toward will be impacted. For this reason, among others, I must step aside. Unless something changes, I will not be running for President for the 2018-19 Academic Year. Even though we are all disappointed, this is our University. I encourage you to find ways to build Ave up. I am committed and look forward to serving the University in other ways.

It's been an absolute honor to serve you.

Sincerely,

Stephen Akers
President