Press Clippings & Releases

Press Clipping: Shippensburg University student government rebrands name, internal structure

Student government rebrands name, internal structure

By Jessica Richardson Guest Writer
Texas Woman’s University
Posted 01/09/17 1:51pm

There are 5,100 student governments under the American Student Government Association, but it is hard to find one that seems to be run quite the way that Shippensburg University’s own student government runs. Formally known as Student Senate, SU Student Government is looking to do more than change its name.

Student Senate made the name change to Student Government in fall 2016, as well as added a new position, new branch of government and a new program.

“Just because we are making all these changes doesn’t mean we want [the students] to lose a voice. If anything, we want to encourage them to come to us,” said secretary Crystal Hartman.

The rebranding process began to move SU government toward a similar model of governance that other schools implement. Most universities call themselves student government, according to President Traci Moyer.

In addition to a simple name change, the Executive Rules Committee (ERC) added a new position – director of internal affairs, which is currently filled by Jordan Back.

“We have gone to conferences before and one of the things that we differ is that we only have four executive members that could vote plus one trustee,” said Moyer. “We wanted to add more with where the year is going and bring a dynamic change for balancing out big decisions.”

As the interim director of internal affairs, Back hopes to make the role permanent and to have others see it as a valued position. The duties for the position include making sure the senators are meeting their requirements, being a fifth vote on ERC and being in charge of the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives, a new branch of government for SU Student Government, was added this semester to create a bigger voice for the student body.

Other colleges and universities have a House of Representatives, but each university has its own model for this second branch of government. Augusta University has a House of Representatives that is to represent the graduate students, and Wright University has a house whose members are built into the senate.

In contrast, Liberty University has a similar body that is referred to as the House of Delegates, but one must apply to be a part of it. SU seems to have created a new type of House of Representatives.

“House of Representatives is all student leaders meeting in one room. What it does is take things a step further and not just impact the student leaders’ own student groups, but campus as a whole to have a say in student governance and what our campus community is,” said Moyer.

Another new program that is being implemented is the use of OrgSync, a platform similar to social media that brings all clubs and organizations together.

“It shows that Student Government is not above other groups because we have a portal like every other group on campus,” said treasurer Chris Windbeck. “We have to submit and follow the same protocols like they do.”

The last ERC came up with the plan to use OrgSync, but Windbeck was the one who was able to go to a conference on the topic and learn how to get organizations involved.

“We started with club sports and now we are venturing into governing bodies as well as larger programming organizations,” said Windbeck. “We’ve asked groups to use it for a minimal amount of features but a majority have used it past that and are using it on their own accord.”

The implementation of these new additions and programs will continue in the future.

“We are definitely going to continue with our rebranding, and we are going to have outside student involvement,” said Hartman.