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Student body president to attend AIPAC conference

13 Jan

Sydni Mitchell - SGA President

Sydni Mitchell, SFA’s student body president and graduate assistant in the Office of Student Affairs Programs, was recently offered a full scholarship to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.

The annual conference, set for March 4-6, takes place in Washington, D.C. Mitchell is one of 200 student government presidents nationwide selected to attend, and the scholarship covers all costs for travel and the conference. More information about the AIPAC conference can be found at http://www.aipac.org/about-aipac.

Mitchell, a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Administration program, is also a former student member of the SFA Board of Regents.

“We are always thrilled to see our students receive opportunities like this,” Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service, said. “Sydni will be able to make so many valuable connections and bring back great experience to use in her involvement at SFA.”

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The Gathering

26 Aug
Student leaders at The Gathering

Student leaders at The Gathering

More than 70 student leaders gathered at SFA’s Piney Woods Conservation Center Aug. 23-24 for The Gathering, a retreat for student leaders from areas across campus to come together to collaborate on how they can work together to make SFA a better place.

Students represented the following areas:

  • Orientation
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Student Activities Association
  • The BIG Event
  • Alternative Spring Break
  • Inter-Fraternity Council
  • Panhellenic
  • Traditions Council
  • Involvement Advisers
  • Student Publications
  • National Residence Hall Honorary
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Multicultural Greek Council
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Organization of Latin Americans
  • African Student Organization
  • Jack Camp
  • Lumberjack Cultural Association
  • Student Government Association
  • Fashion in Motion
The students brainstormed on issues they saw on campus and how they could make an impact in those areas, and ultimately decided as a group to focus on campus beautification. The students will be meeting regularly to follow up with each organization who committed to helping on this project and how they can move forward to make a difference on campus.
The retreat was put on by the Office of Student Affairs Programs and staffed by representatives from Student Activities, Leadership and Service, Greek Life, Orientation, Student Publications, Multicultural Affairs and Campus Recreation.

Represent your fellow students in SGA

12 Aug
Sydni Mitchell, Student Body President

Sydni Mitchell, Student Body President

This is one of many articles from our Parent’s Newsletter, sent three times a year to parents of new and returning SFA students. To sign up to receive the newsletter, please click here. 

By Sydni Mitchell, Student Body President

The purpose of Student Government Association is to ensure that the students are represented in every phase of their experience on our campus. For more than 70 years, SGA has contributed to the rich, independent tradition of the Lumberjack student. The projects and bills passed by SGA every year are an important stepping stone to real change in the life of the SFA student.

Your student could be part of making changes and making a difference on our campus by applying to be an SGA senator. Applications for senator positions will be available Aug. 29 in the SGA office, Room 3.304 in the BakerPattilloStudentCenter. For any questions or comments you can contact SGA at sga@sfasu.edu or by calling (936) 468-3500.

As student body president, I want to ensure that every student group is represented and that their concerns and issues are addressed. I hope to utilize our resources to their fullest while keeping a realistic mind-set for our goals. A few of the initiatives that I hope to accomplish this year are:

1) to create more resources for veterans on our campus by creating a Veteran’s Resource Center

2) to ensure that the voices of the students are heard on issues such as tuition increases and creating more accountability in the way that student fees are spent

3) to work in partnership with university officials on improving the commuter bus transportation on our campus

4) and to continue the Green Initiative to make SFA a more environmentally friendly campus.

A few of SGA’s recent accomplishments include the passing of resolutions that directly led to the construction of the SFA Student Recreation Center and the renovations to the Baker Pattillo Student Center. By partnering with the University Police Department, we were able to improve lighting and safety protocols on campus. We also have registered more than 500 students to vote in the state and national general elections over the past three years. The students involved in SGA strive to continue making changes on our campus to ensure that the students are able to have the best experience possible.

I am excited to serve SGA this year as the student body president, and I hope to be a resource to all students. During Welcome Week, students can learn more about SGA and its plans for the year at the annual State of the Student Body Address, set for Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. on the Baker Pattillo Student Center Plaza. I look forward to meeting students there and addressing the exciting year ahead of us.

Axe ’em, Jacks!

Student government reps join community leaders in Austin

10 Mar

By Jamie Bouldin, Assistant Director for Leadership and Service

Members of SFA’s Student Government Association (SGA) recently joined a group of University and community representatives for Nacogdoches/SFA Days in Austin, an event that focuses on bringing Nacogdoches and Stephen F. Austin State University to the attention of state legislators and policy-makers.

Students visited the state capitol as part of SFA Days

Eight members of SGA, including Student Government President Andy Teel and Student Government Vice President Sarah Feye, joined the local group and were able to meet many members of Texas’ government, including Gov. Rick Perry.

“Several of us got to visit with Gov. Perry in his office for about 20 minutes as he discussed his goals for higher education with us,” Teel said. “This is a very educational experience in which the SFA students attended legislative briefings with our elected officials, interacted with local business owners, and participated in efforts to advocate for legislation and policies that benefit SFA. This year while our students were there, they developed a legislative agenda to give to senators and representatives from their hometown district offices and talked with elected officials about the goals of our university. Our students also attended a session with Sen. Robert Nichols and Rep. Wayne Christian as they gave an update on issues within their legislative districts.”

Dr. Adam Peck, dean of students, serves as SGA’s adviser and also took part in the trip.

“SFA Day serves two very important purposes,” Peck said. “It is a valuable learning experience for our students regarding the legislative process, but it also exposes lawmakers to our students and lets them tell their stories that illustrate the importance of their support for our students and higher education in general.”

“It was a great opportunity to represent SFA,” said Feye, a junior from The Woodlands. “We weren’t only representing the students, we were representing the entire University.”

The students were also able to attend a briefing on higher education, giving them insight into many issues that effect their own constituents.

“We got to hear about a lot of changes that are coming because of statewide budget cuts,” Feye said. “This kind of thing directly affects students.”

Opportunities like these do not come along often for SFA students, Teel said.

“It is amazing when we are able to attend events like these,” he said. “I believe that it not only benefits you by networking, but educating yourself on the process of how government and legislation works.”

The student representatives were also able to network with local business owners, Nacogdoches city officials, SFA administrators and representatives from the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, who also attended SFA Days.

The Nacogdoches delegation in Austin

While visiting state officials’ offices, the SGA students handed out The SFA Way lapel pins. The SFA Way (http://www.sfasu.edu/4742.asp) serves as the university’s honor code and provides principles to which students, faculty and staff hold each other accountable.