Amidst Transition, SGA Aims Action at Administration


Pablo Medina

SGA President Brenda Bedolla is seldom seen withhout a smile

Students may not know much about the student senate right now. Their last meeting minutes were posted in September, making the last semester of legislation hard to track. Over that period, vacancies and absences in the Student Government Association (SGA) senate became a frequent occurrence.  Despite these difficulties, SGA members are working to make their presence known not just to students at NEIU, but to the people who run it as well.

The university community has been focused on eminent domain that will affect NEIU students and the storeowners from the 3400 block of Bryn Mawr Avenue.  The business owners of Bryn Mawr would be compensated for the property if eminent domain occurs.

Proposed student residence will allow for students from the surrounding Chicago neighborhoods and states to reside closer to the university.

“Students have expressed mixed emotions and look to SGA for answers,” said Brenda Bedolla, president of SGA.

SGA has been following the project and has submitted a “proposal for resolution” to administration. “We are asking administration to have more transparency with SGA, so we can communicate it to the student body,” said Bedolla.

SGA passed a bill which would make changes to the Student Death Response and Reporting University Policy. “The prior policy did not specify the student’s death,” Bedolla said. The policy would “only note the death of student leaders,” when recognizing a student’s death. The goal of the bill will ensure all students are “paid with the same respect,” said Bedolla.

The policy on the NEIU website includes “all members of the University community,” and applies to active and inactive students alike. A student is considered active if they have “not been enrolled in classes for two consecutive semesters or less.” The inactive student is represented as a “student who has not been enrolled in classes for three or more consecutive semesters.”

A survey will be shared with the NEIU community to “help determine what priority each project should be given,” a previous University Planning and Budget Council (UPBC) email reads.

“Almost no students voted,” said Bedolla when referring to the past year’s Strategic Plan survey. Bedolla encourages students to become aware of and participate in the upcoming survey.

The UPBC is responsible for advising the University President. The council reviews the budget proposals, strategic direction and communicates the “budget and planning issues between policy-makers and various constituencies that make up the University.”

The UPBC has presented the Proposed Action for the fiscal year of 2017. The document provides goals that the University wishes to fund. The goals are ranked by the Vice Presidents in a “wish list for projects to get done,” said Bedolla.

The SGA board has made some executive changes, as they just appointed a new secretary. “We are in a transition mode,” said Bedolla. The board is working to fulfill their designated roles and keep the student body updated on their progress.

Currently, the SGA website has documents for last year’s meeting minutes, but none are available to view after the month of September.

SGA has been working on becoming more active with the student body. Two weeks ago, SGA held a “Coffee and Conversation with SGA” in the Alumni Hall. Students were invited to meet the members of SGA and ask questions and share their concerns with the representatives. The meet and greets “help SGA gain visibility,” said Bedolla. During the past SGA meeting, a vote was passed to continue holding public forums and meet and greets with the student body.

The student body of NEIU relies on SGA to represent and be the voice of all students. SGA meetings are public and the scheduled meeting dates are available on the Student Government Association tab on the Student Leadership Development page.