During the week of homecoming, Student Government Association (SGA) students from this year and years past were able to come together and celebrate 100 years of SGA. Alumni from 1965 all the way to now went through town showing off new buildings, sharing new legislation, and even things in the works. Seth George, junior in hospitality management and student body president, said comparing the SGA experiences was an interesting thing to do,
“Some groups had a lot of protests that were going on campus at those times, or recently, a group that was working on tobacco free came back and saw that all the hard work they put in..,” George said. “They feel accomplished because it’s in place and it’s had a positive impact on campus”.
This celebration was not organized solely by SGA. Alumni Relations and SGA made it a priority to join forces to make sure this experience for alumni and current students was enjoyable. Jon Bartlow, director of alumni relations said that the process started nine months ago and the partnership only made sense to bring alumni back down to Pittsburg,
“So we went through our database and tried to find everybody we could who had been involved in the Student Government Association over the years and we sent them a ‘Save the Date’ postcard and we followed up with invitations once we figured out what our schedule would be,” Bartlow said. “And so basically we invited anybody who was involved in SGA to come back started Thursday with Yell Like Hell.”
Bartlow said they planned the events in such a way that would accommodate to the alumni’s schedules.
Because of the opening of Block22, bringing alumni to the downtown area was on the agenda. George said there was an opportunity for alumni to visit and see some of the old pharmacy buildings or even abandoned buildings they knew are now serving a much different purpose,
“So a bigger change that’s happened on campus is the opening of Block22..,” George said. “So a lot of the students that were in college at that time knew the buildings for the purpose that they served at that time. So they got to come back and see that space reused in a different light. So they got to go upstairs and see that we have students living down there now and how their engaging with that space and (kind of) being innovative with the ideas going on down there”.
One of the biggest takeaways George said he experienced was that what he and other SGA members are doing now can potentially make an impact on the student body for years to come.
“One of the hardest things you’ll do in SGA is starting a project,” George said. “When things are said and done you only have six months to get initiatives done, passed, legislation in place. One of the cool things is that you have to think that it’s bigger than you.”
George said that even if the impact takes time they will be able to say it was a contribution to the student body and even something the new members of SGA can be left with to complete for their student body.
“..Someone down the line will complete that for you,” George said. “So you have to set the ball in motion and maybe one day it will be completed no matter the time range in between, but you’re doing something bigger than you. So you’re doing something small you think, put nine years from now it could be big and it’s impacted hundreds of students on campus”.