Pepperdine’s Student Government Association’s Committees are back after a year-long hiatus.
SGA Committees bridge the gap between members and students who have the common goal of improving campus, SGA Executive Vice President Myers Mentzer said. She re-evaluated the committee structure and created a three-step process that will be engaging for students while simultaneously producing advocacy resolutions.
“I am excited to bring you something new and something fresh,” Mentzer said at the Jan. 24 SGA Committees meeting. “Let’s get excited to help make Pepperdine a better place.”
The Jan. 17 and Jan. 24 meetings had high energy, prizes for attendees and free food. Mentzer said she hoped to carry that same energy into the final committee meeting, which was held Feb. 7.
SGA Re-evaluates Their Committee Structure
SGA is required in their constitution to hold committee meetings for the student body to come up with ideas for improvement and take them to administration, Mentzer said.
Mentzer said poor participation in the past three years has led to this semester’s rebrand of the committees.
“In the past — so, my freshman year, 2021 fall semester — we had a ton of people show up; it was great,” Mentzer said. “The second week, we had around four people show up.”
In the past, having no incentives, poor structure and early meeting times led to low return rates at the committee meetings, Mentzer said.
Mentzer said changes were made to address all of those problems, including adding raffle and prize opportunities for attendees, an 11 a.m. meeting time and a simplification to the advocacy resolutions system.
The advocacy resolution system is now broken down into a three-week process, Mentzer said.
“For the first week, we [the committees] are brainstorming and getting ideas out there,” Mentzer said.
The second week, each of the five committees met with an administrator that has expertise in the given area, Mentzer said.
She said, during the final meeting, which would be held Feb.7, each committee would draft their resolution.
SGA Dining Services Committee Meets for the First Time
At the SGA Dining Services Committee’s inaugural meeting Jan. 24, Chair of Dining Services Ellie Scoggins said she wanted to hear every member’s ideas for the resolution.
Patrick Fleenor, first-year Dining Service Committee member, said the dining hall hours do not work with many students’ typical eating schedules, and he does not enjoy the food quality.
“I spend probably hundreds of dollars every week off of campus because the food here is bad, and the hours are not the best,” Fleenor said.
Fleenor said he wants to prove that actions speak louder than words.
“I feel like it is important for me to be involved and try to make a change,” Fleenor said.
After discussing for about an hour, the committee settled on a few ideas for their resolution, including increasing the dining hall hours, fixing the signage in the Waves Café and increasing grab-and-go options.
Scoggins said she admired how ambitious the committee was at the first meeting.
“There is a lot of effort and resources that would go into that [achieving the goals], but I’m not one to back down from a big idea,” Scoggins said.
SGA Committees Connect with Administration
At the Jan. 31 SGA Committee meeting, the Dining Services Committee welcomed Lisa Stone, the executive director of Business Services Administration, to open the conversation between the committee and administration.
“We want to know what ideas would be obtainable because the end goal of all of this is to write a resolution,” Fleenor said to Stone at the SGA Committee meeting Jan. 31.
The committee asked Stone many questions about their goals and provided feedback from their personal experiences with dining services.
During the Jan. 31 meeting, Stone said, if the committee focuses on one goal in particular and follows through with it, they will most likely find success with administration.
SGA Committees Look Forward to Change
Heading into the final committee meeting of the semester, the Dining Services Committee members were looking forward to choosing an individual focus and creating a resolution so they could see their hard work come to fruition, Scoggins said.
“After we write the resolution, it’ll hopefully be passed through administration,” Scoggins said. “Then, we can get the budget and make a lot of change happen.”
All students were encouraged to come to the Feb. 7 meeting so the resolution could reflect students’ opinions, Mentzer said.
“At this meeting, we will get quotes from students to show administrators what students are thinking,” Mentzer said.
Fleenor said other students should join the committees because he found it very easy to get involved as a first-year.
“Since we have Committee Chairs and a bunch of SGA people helping out, it was easy for me to join and share my opinions as a freshman,” Fleenor said.
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