Student Body President Axel Brown hopes to increase student engagement inside and outside of student government this school year.
Since the start of the semester, the Student Government Association has filled seven senator, one executive and three judicial positions. According to Brown, the open seats heading into the semester were a result of changes in student involvement since the student government election last spring.
In August, SGA had openings for senator of public affairs, senator of nursing and applied sciences, senator of innovation, senator of military and veteran affairs and three senators at large. All of these positions have since been filled by students whose roles range from designating club funding to bridging the gap between UCCS students and the administration.
“Whether it be bringing student concerns to administrators or using funds delegated to us to help the student body in a myriad of ways, we are the sole representative body for the students. However, if there are no members in that body there is no one to represent the students,” Brown said.
“The SGA last year did an amazing job getting the word out and everything, but it’s just been tough these past couple years with student engagement. There’s also this, possibly, there’s a stigma out there about student government, and we would like to change that this year,” Brown said.
He hopes to address this stigma and show students SGA’s support through a new program called “Smoothie with the President.” Students who sign up will get to sit down with Brown to talk and enjoy a free beverage.
“Whether students want a free smoothie, they actually have a concern or they just want to hang out, the smoothie will be completely covered by myself,” Brown said.
Brown is on the executive branch which governs SGA, and is comprised of the president, vice president and director of finance. Incumbent Thanh Thanh Tran won the election for the director of finance position last semester but did not assume the role. Kevin Velasco was unanimously voted into the position this month.
The other two branches, senate and judicial, also represent students. The senate passes bills and resolutions that allocate funds at weekly meetings. The judicial board administers elections, interprets the constitution and conducts judicial reviews. Four of seven justice positions are vacant, according to their website.
Over the summer, SGA attended a leadership conference and bonded with new members. Brown thinks that those trainings and team building exercises helped SGA further embrace their values.
“We’re all about building compromise. We’re all about compromising and building each other up. Even if it goes against something that you truly believe in, we’re going to help that person,” he said.
Students can apply to join SGA through Mountain Lion Connect. A “Smoothie with the President” sign-up form will also be available at this page when the program launches. Students can also request application forms from Brown via email at [email protected].
Photo of Axel Brown, SGA President. Photo courtesy of Axel Brown.