SGA4You hopes to implement a freshman leadership organization

FLEXSGA4You plans to increase student involvement on campus this coming fall with the addition of a mentor program, freshman leadership organizations and continued suggestions from the student body.

Shane McCarty, SGA4You vice presidential candidate, said SGA4You plans to expand on the academic advising program already in place on campus.

“We want to make the advising system one that revolves around the students,” McCarty said. “Our idea is to have someone a year older than the advisee who is in the same major, taken the same classes and had the same professors. We want this program to be an opportunity for someone else to guide new students to become acclimated to the campus.”

McCarty added that the SGA4You ticket wants to expand on the existing program titled “Each One, Reach One.”

“We do not want to start a whole new program,” McCarty said. “The most difficult part is finding enough sophomore mentors to work with the incoming freshman.”

Joey Zakutney, SGA4You candidate for treasurer, said one challenge that the ticket might be confronted with is marketing the program.

“We do not want students to think that they need help just because they are participating in a mentor program,” Zakutney said. “Our goal in talking to other organizations about a mentorship program is to find a way to market the program to students coming to Tech (so that they)feel like a part of the Hokie community.”

McCarty said SGA4You wants to find a way to use Hokie Camp – an optional, two-day retreat, started by Zenobia Hikes, late vice president for student affairs, held at Smith Mountain Lake for new students – as a way for incoming freshmen to become acclimated to life at Tech.

“Zenobia Hikes was the person who started the idea of Hokie Camp,” McCarty said. “She spoke at an executive meeting last year and said that she wants 80 percent of freshman to have the opportunity to go through Hokie Camp.”

Brandon Carroll, SGA4You presidential candidate, explained that everyone on the SGA4You ticket is going to have to work collaborately together to accomplish their goals for the next school year.

“I feel that SGA this year is really open, so we want to expand on that vision and make SGA even stronger,” Carroll said. “We want to expand upon outreach to freshman with the idea of ‘Freshman Leadership Organizations’ to get the students involved and to hear their voice.”

Carroll said that SGA4You is all about the students and allowing them to voice their opinions.

“I think that we need to be honest and let people know that we do not know everything that is going on,” Carroll said. “We need the student body to help us figure out what the problems on campus are, and what we need to act upon those issues.”

Carroll added that his goal for SGA4You is to empower the student body.

“I want to help amplify the voices of those students who feel underrepresented,” Carroll said. “I want to collaborate with the study body on issues that they feel are important on campus.”

“I want to see a unified organization,” Zakutney said. “I want to work collaborately with students throughout the next year.”

McCarty said another platform SGA4You is working on is making sure that each student’s voice is heard.

“We do not just want to tell students what we are going to do, we want to gather their suggestions,” McCarty said. “We will answer the students’ questions and find a way to prove to them that we will take their voice and that we will make a change.”

McCarty added that he wants to see a Virginia Tech culture shift to something that thrives on positivity.

“Our goal is to take the opportunity at hand to impact the students,” McCarty said. “We see a great opportunity for growth, but we want to make the best and most inclusive Virginia Tech environment that we can have.”

Morgan Bradley, SGA4You secretary candidate, said that she wants to see SGA4You make a difference in each student’s life.

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~ by shanemccarty on April 4, 2009.

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