SGA lack of diversity addressed
THURS. | 11-04-21 | OPINION
The Student Government Association (SGA) is one of the oldest clubs at Rose. Outside of school they provide various forms of community service and inside they run a large number of activities like convocation, prom, and multiple programs with our exceptional children (EC) students.
One of their biggest goals is to bridge the gaps within the student body. They do this through making connections with our EC students and providing them with many opportunities to interact with the rest of the school. While this is a bold effort, the SGA body itself is not well known for its diversity.
I do not believe the lack of diversity in SGA can be blamed on an individual person. I believe that it stems more from the association’s long history of an overwhelmingly white population of students. Rose itself has a diverse student body as a whole: with all races, economic classes, genders, and sexual orientations. However the white middle class makes up the majority of the SGA. In a group that is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the student body, it is important that they match the school’s diversity. While this issue is not exclusive to SGA, because it is the most prominent of Rose’s clubs, a change in it would most likely mean a change for all clubs.
Joining SGA is simple in theory. All a student has to do is fill out a packet and get two teacher sponsors to be put on the
Photo contributed by Quinebaug Valley Community College
election ballot. This information, while minimal, can be difficult to figure out without knowing someone on the inside. With a not-so-diverse roster as is, when current members are spreading information to their friends, more often than not it is to people that are more similar to them.
Currently, to help with this issue, SGA has implemented a Remind that is open for anyone to join. The information to join is on posters around the school. I believe SGA could take this a step further and make an announcement in the morning saying what day and time the interest meetings are or even giving information on how to apply. This way it is not up to the student to find the information or join the Remind. The information is given straight to them.
However, the largest issue of diversity in SGA is getting students interested. It’s difficult for a student to walk into a room full of people that are seemingly different from them and want to continue to be there. It creates a feeling of isolation that doesn’t encourage further participation. SGA could hold a diversity day allowing some of their more diverse students to talk about what they do for the program. If students saw that people of a similar race or social group as them are capable of thriving in that environment then they will be more likely to join. It might also be beneficial for SGA to be upfront about the issue. They could make a pamphlet or article addressing the issue of diversity saying, “we realize that this is an issue so please help us to change it.” This would create a more inviting environment. By acknowledging this issue the SGA will be able to show their desire to make changes to fix this issue.
SGA’s lack of diversity is an issue that has persisted throughout its many years of establishment. Although it seems like a daunting task to fix this problem, I believe that the current SGA has the ability and the drive to do so.