Student Government takes steps towards change

This year, the Student Government Senate, Executive Board, and I have focused on empowering students and creating a students’ government that is representative of our student body and responsive to your concerns. 

Student Government has undergone significant change in the past six months. For the first time in SGA history, we reconfigured and expanded the executive board by adding three critical advisory positions in student activism, student engagement and faculty & administrative relations.

Chizoba Ukairo, Ann Nguyen and Billy Reilly respectively, have provided perspective from the broader Wake Forest community and have played a significant role in molding the SGA agenda.

We also appointed several capable senators from outside of Student Government to enhance our talent pool and diversity in the organization, organized the first Senate-wide SafeZone training of Student Government, started streamlining the student organization charter process, amended all of our governing documents to be gender natural in language, initiated conversations about revamping Benson food vendors in the following school year, and created a Student Innovation Fund which helped fund several grassroots student endeavors including Trailblaze and the Students for Liberation food & coat drive.

The 2015 Presidents’ Leadership Conference (PLC), held in Asheville, N.C .and attended by President Hatch, Provost Kersh, Vice President Rue, Ed Wilson, 13 faculty members and 30 students, grew significantly in numbers and organizations represented, and explored the notion of change at Wake Forest University — reviewing the change of our community’s past, becoming the change we seek today, and envisioning the change of Wake Forest’s tomorrow.

This spring, Student Government is focusing on key initiatives to build relationships with schools in the local community, address mental health through a mental health awareness week in April, expand funding for the Student Innovation Fund, and codify the recent revisions in the Executive Board structure.

Next week, Student Government will co-host an executive meeting with the Student Government of Winston Salem State University and continue to build a relationship with colleges in our local community.

We, too, are members of our local collegiate community and our Student Government needs to begin to play a larger role in working with community partners.

In a similar vein, Student Government will be focusing on seeking student input, representing student voice, and working with local partners to involve the Winston-Salem community in the planning and design of the Innovation Quarter, as discussed at the Presidents’ Leadership Conference.

Also, we will continue to make explicit attempts to increase diversity in all areas of our organization.

While we hope that the democratic process would be enough to develop a truly representative student government, we will persist our efforts to make sure Student Government mirrors the students it wishes to serve and the array of voices we wishes to reflect. 

In the coming weeks, we will be leading an initiative to redesign the deacon one card to include critical emergency contact information, and we will be enhancing the funding mechanisms and application structure underpinning the Student Innovation Fund in order to continue to fund unchartered organizations and innovative students so that they can achieve the change that they seek in our community.

Please do not hesitate to call, email, or stop by my office at any time. As the students’ government of this community, our agenda is driven by you. Our initiatives and objectives are constantly evolving depending on student’s needs, concerns, and visions for Wake Forest. We are charged with representing student voice, and Student Government always has a seat at the table for you. 

Sincerely,

Adam Hammer

Student Government President