Most people would be cranky on a Friday morning. But Student Government President Brenda Bedolla is fresh-faced and friendly as ever. Though the coffee also helps.
This is Bedolla’s first year as President, however she is no stranger to college politics. She served two years as Student Trustee at Morton College. After transferring to NEIU, she was inspired by her years at Morton and immediately joined the Student Government Association (SGA).
“We [students] have the power to make a difference,” she says passionately, “it takes people willing to go out there and be visible.” She was elected President, last year.
So far, the year has been low-key for the SGA. Most of their business has been passing bills to approve new Senate members, approving the resignation of others, organizing for the rest of the school year, and learning their positions since three-fourths of the Senate are on their first term.
But this does not discourage Bedolla, who has big plans for the school.
“Yes, I want to get bills written and bylaws passed, but ultimately, we can’t be claiming to do work for the student body if the student body doesn’t acknowledge that we’re here,” she says. Her goal for the year is to get SGA’s name out there. During the campaign last year, when Bedolla and other candidates talked to students, many of them had never heard of SGA or were simply unaware the school had one.
“I’ve learned that you have to be persistent with people…when you stop reaching out, you are giving up on [students]” says Bedolla, who is working with other SGA members to create a new approach to reach the students. While none of these plans are final, some of Bedolla’s plans include a meet-and-greet table in Village Square for students, a town-hall meeting for students to talk about the issues that they are most concerned about and banner above the association’s meeting room, to welcome students into meetings. Bedolla says “I want to create visibility…It’s unfortunate that, as Student Government, not a lot of people know you’re here.”
The NEIU SGA will soon have a lot on its plate, whether it’s allocating funds for club events or organizing and sponsoring their own events to enhance student life, these leaders are ready to take charge from the example of their President.