SGA is appointed, not elected

By Chris Cunningham
The Scene staff

Only eight students applied to fill nine vacancies on Forest Park’s Student Government Association this fall, so the college opted to appoint all of them rather than hold an election.

Chester Anderson
Chester Henderson

SGA normally has 10 members. President Chester Henderson is retaining his seat.

“What I have noticed since I have been here is that student involvement ebbs and flows with enrollment,” said Donivan Foster, student activities assistant and SGA sponsor.
“It also seems like students have more responsibility in the past with the economy getting better and more people working.”

General transfer student Savannah Bosler, 24, was appointed as an SGA representative-at-large. She said many Forest Park students don’t even know the association exists.

Donavon Foster
Donavon Foster

“We were appointed because so few students applied,” she said.

Other new SGA members are vice president Keyon March, treasurer Angela Johnson, corresponding secretary Jasmine Armstrong, parliamentarian Brandon Haywood and representatives Jenny Cloninger, James Wright and Paige Karius.
The seat for recording secretary remains vacant. Interested students can submit applications.

“It’s not like the door closes at the beginning of the year,” Foster said. “We always want to welcome people to be a part of SGA at any point in the year.”
SGA operates under the umbrella of Campus Life, describing itself as “the official voice for all students.”

According to its web page, the association represents “the interest of students in the decision-making process by attaining and maintaining student representation on college committee.”

SGA also recommends and organizes campus events and projects. Each member is required to submit two ideas.

Members of the Student Government Association at Forest Park. Sitting is Paige Karius. Standing from left are Jasmine Armstrong, Jenny Cloninger, Keyon March, James Wright, Savannah Bosler, Chester Henderson and Brandon Haywood. Absent was Angela Johnson. (Photo by Timothy Bold)

Henderson plans to visit Beaumont High School in St. Louis and invite students to activities at William J. Harrison Education Center. His main goal is to show them that college is a viable option after high school.

“We are going to see how we can help with this visit,” Henderson said. “We want them to know STLCC is there for them and they can build themselves a career.”  Bosler is involved in a project that will provide low-cost day care for Forest Park students.

“This could help ease the burden for parents and hopefully in the long run, get enrollment back up,” she said. Most SGA seats were uncontested. Several students wanted to be vice president, but they changed their minds after finding out it requires attendance at every meeting. There is more flexibility with other seats. Foster emphasized that the association isn’t functionally hierarchical.

“SGA is really a circular flow of shared work,” Foster said. “There is a real team dynamic, and everyone plays an important role.”