New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Guest Essay: Why you should care about the SGA’s next chair

The Student Government Assembly has elected its next chair who will shape the student body experience through programming and advocacy.

Guest essays reflect opinions from writers beyond WSN. If you’d like to submit a guest essay for consideration, please email [email protected].

Members of the Student Government Assembly have elected its next chair, Steinhardt junior Angela Chou, who will be the voice of the student body. The chair carries a lot of responsibility and influence in the direction of the SGA. Sometimes, they are the only student in meetings that influence university policy. For example, the chair was on the Presidential Search Committee last year, and this year, the chair is on the Provost Search Committee. They sit on the University Senate Executive Committee as the representatives of the student body. 

The SGA chair regularly meets with President Linda Mills, the provost, deans, the senior leadership team and other administrators to share and discuss student concerns. When the SGA chair is in those meetings, they represent all of you: your needs and your concerns, so it is vital that you know who the chair is to ensure that they can advocate for you in the best way and work to solve the students’ problems at the university. 

The chair sets the overarching vision of the SGA. For this academic year, the goals were increasing collaboration between undergraduate and graduate students, engaging students across the university’s global network, increasing student engagement at athletic competitions, furthering connections with alumni through our new SGA alumni network, promoting access programs concerning food, housing and basic needs insecurity, and improving affordability for all students. 

Before her term as the chair starts on May 16, I encourage you to reach out to Angela Chou and tell them what are the most important issues at NYU to help them shape their vision. SGA cannot be effective without your voice.  

Through hearing your voice and bringing your concerns to the senior leadership team, SGA has accomplished a lot: divestment with Sunrise Movement NYU, gaining an extra seat on University Senate, expansion of emergency contraceptives, simplification of housing rates and creation of the Director of Student Basic Needs position. Now, SGA launched the Initiative Fund, to enhance the NYU community by addressing the immediate and diverse needs of its students. 

From now until the start of her term, Chou will work to connect with more students than ever before, connect with more schools, clubs and organizations, and partner with more administrators to ensure that your voice is heard and that we can find ways to address your concerns.

Our goal is Project 61, an initiative to make SGA a household name by connecting to all 61,000 students within the NYU community. By engaging all undergraduate, graduate, master’s and doctoral students from campuses in Washington Square Park, Brooklyn, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and all the global sites, we hope to inform the student body on some of the important issues affecting our university. We hope with this project, we can strengthen students’ access to NYU’s governance system and increase accountability for SGA.

Your voice matters, and we hope you can get involved with us. You can make an impact on campus.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Ryan Carney at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Susan Behrends Valenzuela
Susan Behrends Valenzuela, Editor-at-Large
Susan Behrends Valenzuela is a senior studying studio art at Steinhardt and minoring in Media, Culture, and Communication. She is passionate about the intersection of art and media, and is particularly fond of zines and small magazines. When she's not working or making art, she can be found co-running an art zine with her friend, rollerskating, sewing, baking or scrolling through Instagram.

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