SGA to Honor Club Presidents with Gala
As the end of the semester quickly approaches, Liberty University’s Student Government Association plans on honoring all the hard work the university’s club presidents have invested into the campus this year.
The current SGA administration has been working to improve club relations this past year, and in a further attempt to show their appreciation for what clubs do for the school, they will be hosting an award ceremony gala just for club presidents May 3.
Jenna Parisen, the director of clubs for SGA, came up with the idea and said the heart behind the gala is to make the presidents feel like a valued part of Liberty, as they add to the extracurricular environment of the campus.
“When I was elected (as director of clubs) I was like, ‘Wow, these club presidents do so much,’ and we want to honor them for their work because it’s really nice having recognition for putting a lot of hours into something,” Parien said.
Parisen said the event will be catered, and they plan on presenting several awards to the leaders for outstanding work in areas such as community outreach, commitment and evangelism.
She also said this gesture is just one of the things SGA has been doing to improve the relationship between the SGA office and clubs this year.
At the beginning of the year, the student body president, Caleb Johnson, and his administration organized a video chat meeting for club presidents to come and bring their complaints or concerns from the previous year.
According to Parisen, the number one complaint was lack of communication.
SGA helps coordinate and fund over 100 clubs, and since there are so many students all trying to organize their own events, they run into communication issues. But Johnson said that did not deter his team from working to improve communication.
Former president of the Commuter Student Association Anthony Halufska and current president Joselyn Perez-Gutierrez said they have both seen a drastic positive change in the level of communication this year.
“(SGA) made it so that if we have any concerns, we can ask our liaison (and) have that conversation,” Halufska said. “They really made that line of communication really open.”
Halufska and Perez-Gutierrez also said that their communication between other clubs has improved as well. The Johnson administration created a Facebook group for club presidents to interact and exchange ideas or suggestions.
Perez-Gutierrez believes encouraging interaction between clubs is beneficial because it brings the campus closer together, which is what Parisen says clubs are designed to do.
“(Clubs are) a great way to build community with like-minded people who might have the same interests as you or be going in the same direction as you,” Parisen said.
Parisen also said that clubs give students the opportunity to gain experience in a career field they may be considering going into. Through the practical application of clubs, members can determine if it is something they want to do in the future.
For all those reasons, Parisen thought it would be a great idea to host a gala honoring the leadership that makes clubs possible.
“We want them to know how valuable the work is that they do for students,” Parisen said.