It will be a big year for the Student Government Association (SGA).
With approximately 100 members, SGA acts as a medium between the UD student body and the university administration. Executive members include the president, vice president, VP of communication, VP of finance and the speaker of the senate.
SGA leaders are elected by the student body each spring, and UD has record voter turnout among students, said Bryan Borodkin, president of SGA. In the spring of 2019, UD had the highest voter turnout in the American Student Government Association with participation at approximately 40 percent (the previous record was ~20 percent.)
The senate makes up the largest part of SGA, with four representatives from each of the four schools (Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Education & Health Sciences and Engineering), as well as four directors. The senate also has 11 committees on a variety of subjects, such as mental health, and every senator sits on at least one committee. Members draft and pass various bills, as well as manage a $30,000 budget.
SGA also serves to voice student concerns to the administration if there is ever a miscommunication or a mistake, Borodkin said.
Borodkin pointed to an incident during spring break in 2019, when students were notified that university housing would not open until 3 p.m. (instead of 8 a.m.) on the Sunday before classes started, which happened to be St. Patrick’s Day. The university said the delayed return time was the result of student St. Patrick Day’s celebrations in 2018 that were broken up by riot police.
The delayed return time proved problematic for many students who had already made travel arrangements for earlier in the day. As a result, many students were left unable to return to their university housing.
To create an agenda for SGA to work on, surveys are used to gain perspective from students about important issues. For the 2019-2020 school year, Borodkin laid out several plans for SGA.
First, campus safety was a common concern due to the mass shooting in the Oregon District that took place in August before students returned to school. Another concern was sustainability, with students participating in events such as Earth Fest and the global climate strike.
SGA will also be holding a variety of events for students to attend. Tough Talks is a series of events for students and guests to discuss a variety of controversial issues. The most recent Tough Talk on Sept. 29 focused on gun violence. Another event series includes Campus Clarity, which is an open forum between students and the administration to better improve communication between the two groups.
The most common administration contacts for SGA include Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Christine Schramm and Bill Fischer, Vice President for Student Development, Borodkin said. Other contacts include President Eric Spina, Provost Paul Benson and Chief Rodney Chatman.
Q&A With SGA President Bryan Borodkin
- What is your major? I am a political science major with minors in pre-law and SEE (sustainability, energy and the environment.)
- What is your hometown? My hometown is Akron, Ohio.
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully I will have graduated law school, passed the bar and be a public interest/environmental attorney in D.C. or some other awesome city!
- What is your favorite TV show? My favorite TV show is “Friday Night Lights.”
- What is your favorite Dayton area restaurant? My favorite restaurant in the Dayton area is Thai Nine! SO good!
- What country would you most like to visit? I went to China for a study abroad last year and I absolutely loved it and want to go back so soon. A country that I want to visit that I haven’t been to before, though, is England. I absolutely love English soccer and music, and I think I would THRIVE there.
- What is the best part about working for SGA? The best part of working with SGA is how many new people that I have formed close relationships with that I never would have met outside of SGA. I have met so many awesome and passionate students that remind me every day why this place is so special.
- Why did you choose the University of Dayton? I chose the University of Dayton on a gut feeling. I was actually planning on going to another school for a while and I came back to Dayton pretty late in the decision making process as a senior in high school just to cross it off my list but I ended up absolutely falling in love with the feeling that I got here. People were so welcoming and friendly and I left the campus visit knowing this is where I wanted to call home for the next four years.
Photos courtesy of SGA