Are you interested in making an IMPACT on campus? Do you want to help create changes to make GRU a better university? Then run to be a part of the undergraduate Student Government Association! Open Offices include: President, Vice President, Secretary, Comptroller, Humanitarian, Senators for respective colleges, Senators at Large.
Campaigning for the 2015-2016 year will be held from Monday, March 9, 2015 to Monday, March 30, 2015. Please make sure to review the Campaign Rules before beginning to campaign.
Must be an undergraduate student at Georgia Regents University.
Must be enrolled in at least six credit hours.
Must have a minimum institutional grade point average of at least 2.5.
May not be on academic probation.
May not have any student conduct code violations.
Attend all Senate meetings, held Fridays at 1:30 PM.
Participate in SGA Training.
Attend SGA approved events.
Fulfilll all the duties for the positions as outlined in the SGA Constitution.
Student Government Association President Michael Banks wasn’t particularly engaged in campus activities until his junior year, when he started to take an active role in campus organizations.
He joined the Crew, GRU’s main programing body, and from there he caught the involvement bug. A couple of people in the Crew were in student government, so Banks decided to give that a try as well.
Now, he’s president of student government, has been appointed to the USG Search Committee for the next GRU president, and his time is filled with a whole new aspect of student affairs, both here and at the state level.
“Every three months, there’s a student advisory council, so all the student government presidents in Georgia meet and go over the issues,” he said. “Since we’re on the research side now, I can see where the issues are for the research universities in the university system.”
That perspective has given him a unique understanding of the challenges facing all research schools.
“From what I’ve seen from the other institutions, we are sort of a model for different institutions that are now undergoing consolidation,” he said.
A self-proclaimed military brat, Banks was born in Augusta, moved away, and returned for high school. After completing his freshman year elsewhere, he settled on GRU to further his academic studies.
As a founding member of the Clubhou.se, Augusta’s technology-based business and community incubator, Banks was part of the city’s first Hackathon and has also been involved in Augusta’s two TEDx presentations.
Currently a member of the Army Reserve, he plans to keep the Army a part of his life. And though he’s the school’s senior student political figure, he’s not entirely sure if he wants to pursue a political life.
“I’m sort of mixed,” he admitted. “I used to want to be a lawyer, but more and more IT is catching my attention. I still find policy and government interesting, though, so that’s definitely part of the mix.”
While Banks might have been slow to embrace all the additional opportunities GRU offers, he has become an example for other students looking to pack more involvement into their time at school. In a way, his story has mirrored the last few years of the school itself.
“GRU has been slow getting an identity, and I think that’s something that will only take time to solve,” he said. “It will be interesting to see the way GRU transitions.”
The Student Government Association groups at GRU had to consolidate, like every other part of the new university, but one member had an insider’s advantage.
Medical College of Georgia student Zachary Di Iulio serves on the Graduate Student Government Association and also served on the Augusta State University Student Government Association as an undergraduate.
Even though the GRU SGA is one organization, it consists of two groups, the Undergraduate SGA and the Graduate SGA, much like how the U.S. Congress consists of a House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
“Now that I am in my first year of medical school at MCG and I am part of the Graduate SGA, I definitely see a huge number of differences between the two SGA bodies,” Di Iulio said. “One of the most obvious is the clear distinction between the needs and abilities of the two bodies and how the SGA approaches any problems or issues that are brought to them.”
The Undergraduate SGA often gets much more involved in campus activities, because they meet weekly, according to Di Iulio. And of course, there is a natural difference as those he serves with now all are focused on health science degrees, while the other group had a large mix of different majors and career goals.
Di Iulio originally became involved in student government to give back to the campus and to have a say in campus decisions. He and a fellow classmate founded the medical club at ASU and it grew from there.
“I was encouraged by our Director of Student Activities, Eddie Howard, to become more involved because he thought that I would be a good addition to the SGA and the student voice as a whole,” he said. “The reason that I joined the Graduate SGA was because I wanted to continue my contribution to the student voice and be able to have my voice heard by the faculty and administration of the institution that I was now a part of.”
And once he started, he was excited to give back and help.
“From both SGA bodies I got the feeling that I was doing something more than if I were just a student getting by, but rather I was actually making a difference,” Di Iulio said. “I felt this particularly strongly as a Senator in the ASU SGA because we were right in the middle of the consolidation and there was a lot that we contributed to throughout that process.”
A highlight of his term at ASU was an event that he helped to organize for the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.
“One of the events that I am particularly attached to was the benefit gala that was held for the Children’s College of Georgia by the Arsenal Society of Medical Studies, the medical club I founded with Amy Jackson, who was a classmate of mine,” he said. “We were able to raise over $3,000 for the hospital and it was just a great night that turned out better than I thought it would have.”
Di Iulio hopes to continue to give back.
“I am very excited about the upcoming year mostly because of all the changes that we are going to see, and already have started to see, as a result of the two campuses coming together,” he said. “It is going to be very interesting to watch the melding of these two institutions and the compromises and changes that have to be made by both sides to ensure that this consolidation is a success.”
Many issues still need to be worked out in the new SGA, just as many other aspects of consolidation are still settling into place. Di Iulio said he looks forward to facing those issues head on and to charting a new path for the organization.
The organization is also preparing an event schedule for the new school year.
“I think that one of the most useful things that especially students can do at this point in our new institution’s development is to make yourself heard by your representatives and speak up,” he said, adding a quote from French Playwright Moliére: “It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”