By Nan Elpers
Vice President of Internal Affairs, CCSGA
On Thursday, Oct. 3, many of The Catalyst’s newest readers elected their three first-year representatives to the Colorado College Student Government Association. Elected from 11 strong candidates, how will these three reps work and speak on behalf of the first-year class for the next academic year?
While the sophomore, junior, and senior classes elect two reps each, the firstyear class is awarded three representative positions, as first-years are ineligible to hold more senior positions within CCSGA. First-year class representatives are charged with representing the interests of their respective CC class in the following two ways.
First, they must initiate regular contact with their class so as to best delegate between first years and CCSGA. In the past, first-year reps have held town halls, tabled at the Worner Center, and plugged participation in online surveys to solicit feedback from their constituents. In recent years, there has been a renewed push to encourage class reps to visit, with permission, affinity groups as well, to better understand the needs and desires of those who may feel less able to vocalize their concerns through more commonly institutionalized routes.
Whether through solicitation or volunteerism, class reps can relay these constituent concerns by passing them on to the CCSGA Executive Committee, which is comprised of the student body president and vice presidents, or by bringing them forth during the open comment period at the end of each Full Council meeting. CCSGA Full Council meetings are held every first, second, and third week at 7 p.m. in the Barbara Yalich boardroom. All community members are encouraged to come to listen and to present ideas during the open comment period if they feel so moved and able.
The second way in which first-year reps represent their constituency is by serving on one of three generally elected committees. Each of the first-year class’s new reps will serve on either the Outreach, Student Life, or Internal Affairs Committee throughout this academic school year.
In broad strokes, the Outreach Committee is responsible for maintaining and improving the relationship between CCSGA and the wider Colorado Springs community. Recently, this committee has helped local high school students understand and complete their FAFSAs and has volunteered at the Patty Jewett Porch Fest.
The Student Life Committee helps transform student concerns into tangible policies and support across campus. They are currently working to create a more accessible student club application process and approve newly proposed student organizations.
The Internal Affairs committee runs elections and holds CCSGA accountable to our constitution and bylaws. In addition to helping elect the new first-year reps, we will be running the Block 3 elections and the appointment of new vice presidents of internal affairs and student life, as well as a new parliamentarian, respectively.
CCSGA also contains a Finance and an Inclusion Committee. Given the expectation of relevant prior knowledge and experiences for both, the student body directly elects candidates to these two committees in Block 7. By serving on CCSGA’s generally elected committees, first-year reps ensure the class gains immediate representation within student government.
Being the only association on campus that is democratically elected by the entire student population, CCSGA is awarded great power as the sole representative body on campus. For this reason, the three first-year reps play a critical role, both participating in and transforming the face of student representation at CC.
Please visit our page on the CC website to learn more about the structure and function of CCSGA and to check out who the new first-year reps are.