New SGA Leaders Aim for Student Unity Next Year
Liberty University student body presidential winners Jacob Page and Derek Rockey talked about their plans for the future of the Student Government Association and campus after their record-breaking win at the elections April 20.
As they prepare for the upcoming year, Page, a junior government major, said nailing down a solid team is top priority.
“That’s where it starts,” Page said. “It started with the team for the campaign, and it’s going to start with the team here with SGA.”
Both agreed that having a strong leadership team was key, and their plan was to create an environment of integrity.
“One of the things we realize is the culture starts at the top, and we get the chance to set the tone on what the culture is like in SGA,” Page said.
One of the ways they plan on setting this tone is by having all the members of their team sign an honor statement they call the Champion Culture Pledge, which lays out a set of guidelines, including agreeing not to talk negatively about anyone.
The two also said that unity in all the branches of SGA and the student body is essential to creating the atmosphere they envisioned.
One of the ways they have already taken steps to promoting unity within SGA is by meeting with the new speaker of the House of delegate, Christian Lasval, to partner with and support his visions for the House for the upcoming year.
Lasval has several steps laid out to “clean the House:”
- Creating more clarity for delegates that may not be familiar with the House’s function or on or the legislative process by providing multiple workshops throughout the semester
- Increasing communication to the delegates so they are informed on election times and other events happening for House members
- Strengthen connection between delegates through a database of each delegate and their SGA voting record so other delegates can find representatives that would be good fits for collaborative legislation efforts
- Promote student engagement with representatives through town-hall style forums that provide students the opportunity to speak to their delegates about concerns and issues they want to see legislation for
Lasval said that his passion is for the student body, and he hopes his policies can enhance the student interaction with SGA.
“If you’re a nursing major, psychology or journalism major, SGA is for you,” Lasval said.
Page and Rockey agreed, saying that unity was crucial. They were adamant that the key to success was not in tearing bad ideas down, but by building up positivity and encouraging a unified environment.
“What are the biggest unifiers in our country? Sports and music,” Page said.
As they advertised during their campaign, Page and Rockey believe that creating more student-led activities will enhance community on campus and increase school spirit. They plan on using their platform in SGA to promote more student events.
Many of their other policies were also centered around creating a unified student body:
- Working with the athletic department to allow tailgating on the Academic Lawn behind DeMoss Hall
- Hosting a prominent speaker for at least one TED Talk-style event each semester
- Create a clubs calendar for Facebook and, eventually, the website
- Partnering with LU Serve, the Lynchburg City Council and the Lynchburg mayor to promote and support community outreach through the established community service commission
Many of the details and logistics for the future were unclear, and Page said they would know more once they hired and were able to start working with their team.
But for them, one thing is clear — unity is their top priority as they work to nail down policies and look for people to add to the team for the next year.
“At the end of the day, we’re all Christians, and we all have the same goal in mind, and that’s a stronger more united student body,” Rockey said.