Co-Presidents Help Create Jesuit Student Government Alliance

Sofia Maietta ’19  

News Editor

Holy Cross’ SGA Co-Presidents Meredith Coolidge, ‘19 and Adrian Cacho, ‘19 have joined presidents of Jesuit colleges and universities across the country in establishing the Jesuit Student Government Alliance (JSGA). The JSGA is comprised of the student government presidents of each of the country’s 28 Jesuit colleges and universities, along with those of St. John’s College in Belize and Campion College in Canada.

The student government presidents from each of these 30 institutions gathered at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York during the summer of 2018 for this year’s National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference (NJSLC). While at the conference, the student government presidents discussed the different problems that each student body was facing and the common thread that seemed to connect them all, which encouraged them to create the JSGA upon leaving the conference. Since then, the JSGA has been approved by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU)  as one of its official conferences.

“As members of JSGA Meredith and I will benefit a lot from the ideas that are tossed around and approaches that other SGA presidents have been making regarding certain issues. These are all things that we can take back with us and continue utilizing throughout the year. This is exactly why Meredith and I joined because we feel as if this community can learn a lot from one another and as a cohort we can continue to enact changes that we not only want to see on our campuses but globally,” said Adrian.

The JSGA hopes to have each member attend the NJSLC each summer, as well as an annual winter summit that the organization hopes to establish. Although its creation was announced just recently on October 5th, the organization already has two co-chairs, Katlyn Martin of St. Louis University and Patrick Marta of Creighton University.

“The creation of the Jesuit Student Government Alliance provides promise for greater collective impact, according to our shared Jesuit mission. We are immensely appreciative of the opportunity to strengthen our inter-campus relationships and amplify students’ voices on the national stage. We believe this unification may cultivate greater progress in both our individual and national communities,” Marta said.

Additionally, they have split the alliance up into five different regions, each which will have a regional chair. Holy Cross, along with Boston College, Canisius College, Fairfield University, Fordham University, Le Moyne College, and St. Peter’s University, make up the Northeast region. Reed Piercey of Boston College will serve as the Northeast region’s chair.

Additionally, the group has drawn up a constitution which will be voted on and ratified within the coming months. One of the issues most salient to the group and one which is first on their agenda is divesting from fossil fuels, which so far only Seattle University has accomplished.  

“HC Fossil Free has done a lot of really important advocacy work on campus already. We are excited to share and connect what we as a college have done to outline the process of divestment and work with other Jesuit institutions with similar goals. Divestment is something that will be stronger if we commit to it as a larger organization, and we are looking forward to using our Jesuit identity as people for and with others to move forward on this initiative and support those involved with HC Fossil Free on campus and connect them with the other groups and interested students at the other Jesuit schools,” Meredith commented.

 

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