Students are returning to new classes, new dorms and new faces around campus. And for some students, one of those new faces is this year’s Student Government Association Executive President Campbell Corder, who spent the last six months of the 2014-2015 school year studying abroad in France.
But if students don’t know of him yet, they soon will, as he plans to make both himself and the SGA more visible, more engaged and more connected to the Queens student body.
“The engagement is a really important part of the school and especially a small school like this that’s community-based,” Corder said. “We have the opportunity to connect with just about every student, with a high number of students living on campus or… that hang out during the day.”
He plans to continue past engagement efforts, such as STAN (Student Taking Action Now)—which is a biannual event at which students can talk about campus issues with administration officials—and the Wall of Wishes, which allows Queens students to voice concerns that will ultimately reach the Board of Trustees.
But during his tenure, Corder also wants to create new opportunities for SGA members to connect with their constituents, with one major effort being school-wide, SGA-sponsored service projects.
“We really think that those events and those days can bring together the student body and help connect them with…their senators who represent them,” he said.
Using the tech-savvy attitude at the university he attended in France as inspiration, he also plans to increase the SGA’s social media presence.
“We’re in the fledgling stage of our media presence, I think,” Corder said. “I really do see this year being the year that we take it to the next level as far as active engagement.”
While, in years past, the SGA might have only plastered the school with posters and fliers for events, Corder now plans on creating Facebook “events” to promote SGA programs.
Corder hopes that continuing these visibility efforts will allow the student body to communicate its desires and needs to the SGA, but in a constructive, plan-oriented fashion.
“I want to be encouraging every student body member to be sharing with us as an organization what their concerns are,” he said, adding that he also wants to help them “formulate” those concerns into solutions.
While Corder does plan on the SGA using both STAN and the Wall of Wishes to connect with students, the rest of the SGA’s goals for this year will be determined not by Corder, but by the SGA as a whole.
“I have my own ideas, but my job is not just to go off of my own ideas, but it’s really to listen to our SGA,” he said.
SGA’s role at Queens
If a student has a problem, going through the SGA is the best way to get it solved, Corder said, explaining that SGA members have more access to the administrators who can fix them.
“And we have a little bit of clout with them,” he said. “We can really hammer home that some of these issues are things that students are really concerned about.”
The SGA also manages a $140,000 budget, which it doles out to the Campus Union Board (CUB) and other student organizations.
Everybody at Queens, including the SGA, “plays a part” in improving Queens, Corder said.
And whether a student gets involved by joining SGA or just coming to its events, doing so “helps you become a better member of the community,” Corder said. ‘That makes the community better.”