SGA Big Three have big plans for SLU

All+three+members+of+the+SGA+Big+Three+plan+on+improving+SLU+with+approachability%2C+equality%2C+and+opportunity+for+all.

Austin O'Brien

All three members of the SGA Big Three plan on improving SLU with approachability, equality, and opportunity for all.

As the Fall 2022 semester begins, the Student Government Association’s three elected officials are set to lead the student body into the new year. 

The ‘Big Three,’ including President Baileigh Picou, Vice President Joshua Freeman, and Chief Justice Michala Torres have entered this semester with specific goals to improve student life on campus.

President Picou is focused on ensuring students have equal opportunities, regardless of background or disabilities. One of her main objectives is to raise awareness for accessible parking and provide accommodations for handicapped students. 

“Something we are working on is raising awareness on this issue so that students who need access to that handicap parking can enjoy game days as well. Handicap students do have the ability to contact LionTraxx busses so they can make sure they are picked up by the bus that can accommodate them,” said Picou.

Around campus, Picou can be seen with her service dog Bruno, who is needed due to her dysautonomia, a disorder which has impacted her life as a student.  Always by her side, Bruno detects changes in blood pressure and heart rate and alerts Picou when necessary. 

Picou emphasized it is crucial not to pet him, just as with other service dogs.

“It is important that when people see Bruno we pretend he doesn’t exist because if he gets distracted he can’t perform his job as well. I know it’s hard because he is very cute but like all service dogs don’t pet Bruno unless you ask me first and if I say no please don’t take it personally,” said Picou.

Vice President Freeman will run the Legislative Branch, a portion of the SGA dedicated to “pursue justice for each and every student.” This fall, Freeman intends to increase participation rates for school events. In addition, the Senate also allows the funding of grants, which are distributed to students in need every semester.

SGA serves the campus in a personal sense through our initiatives such as Swipe Out Hunger and Free Speech Alley as well as providing students, organizations and departments with a variety of opportunities to enhance their educational and social experiences through our different grants which can be found on our website,” Freeman explained.

Freeman will also advocate for students to join the SGA’s Senate in order for all voices on campus to be heard. 

Each college has a designated number of senate seats based on enrollment numbers, one senator for every 500 students. We have a large number of new Senators joining us this year, and they are all very ambitious and eager to get started,” he said.

Finally, the Judicial Branch is run by Chief Justice Torres. She plans to develop stronger connections within the Southeastern community. 

Torres said, “My goals are to make sure that everyone can feel heard through SGA and comfortable enough to bring things that affect them to us. The way that I aim to accomplish this is by talking to people and reaching out. It can be as simple as grabbing lunch with someone that can build that relationship and, in turn, create necessary changes. I want people to know that my door is always open and to feel comfortable enough to come to me.” 

One of the main events the Judicial Branch holds is the Free Speech Alley, where students have a safe space to express their opinions on topics without fear of repercussions. The themes of this year’s Free Speech Alleys will be unveiled at a later date, as themes are planned to be timely.

Plans are also in the works to make Homecoming week and The Big Event weekend bigger and better than in previous years.

“Homecoming’s theme this year is Roomie In The Jungle, a theme voted on by students. For Big Event, keep an eye out. We plan on starting earlier this year to get people excited sooner about it because of how successful it was last year. We want it to be even bigger this year,” said Picou.

All three members of the Big Three have advice for incoming freshmen with the fall semester beginning this Wednesday.

Picou encouraged SLU students to become involved in extracurricular activities.

“I would like to tell incoming freshmen that they are at a pivotal point right now and they have an important choice to make: to get involved or not. I highly recommend choosing to get involved because that will change the course of their college lives for the better and will not only give them fun memories but also the tools needed to succeed,” Picou said.

Freeman said, “Make the most of every single day. There is always room for improvement and every day that you wake up is another chance to become a better person than you were yesterday. We have so many exciting possibilities on campus to explore. There is truly a place for everyone no matter where you come from.”

Torres encouraged students to live in the present and trust the process.

“No one really has it all figured out, so don’t stress trying too. You will find your place in college. Never stop putting yourself out there and try to build relationships because that is what will hold you accountable in your college experience. Utilize the resources on campus and never be scared of not having it all together because in reality, no one does,” Torres said.

To reach out to the SGA about any information, students can visit their offices at the Student Union Breezeway in Room 2302, or email them at [email protected] Students interested in becoming an SGA Senator can fill out the Legislative Branch Application at southeastern.edu/sga.