Lexi Goldstein at Knights Forum

SGA Marketing Specialist Lexi Goldstein, right, and SGA Deputy Chief of Staff Rachel Cohen, left, talk to UCF students about how to get involved in SGA and the groups set up to help train them if they do.

During the the first-ever Knight's Forum Wednesday, University of Central Florida students and Student Government Association officials officials came together over pizza to discus the organization's recent actions 

The forum, which will take place every month in the Student Union, will serve to keep the student body up-to-date on SGA's activities and inform students on how they can get involved with the organization at any point in the year.

“There have been a lot of students that have been coming into SGA and asking how they can get involved,” SGA Deputy Chief of Staff Rachel Cohen said in her opening remarks. “So we decided to start a Knights Forum to basically give people an overview of what SGA is, why we do the things that we do, what services that we provide to students and what ways they're able to get involved now, versus waiting until the fall semester when most of the applications open.”

A number of students at the meeting expressed interest in getting involved in some way with SGA.

“I got an email about it, and I don't really have any club involvement, so I was just trying to find something to do, ” said UCF student Vanessa McElwayne.

A series of short presentations by Deputy Pro Tempore of Senate Operations Anthony Minute, Assistant Chief Justice Aric Hawkins and Cohen provided the attending students with a breakdown of the student government's legislative, judicial and executive branches and the services they provide to the student body.

SGA Marketing Specialist Lexi Goldstein talked about SGA's mentorship councils, which introduce new SGA members to their duties.

"The executive leadership council will teach you how you can help out at events, the different positions that you can get involved in," Goldstein said. "The judicial leadership council will teach you the duties of a justice, what's required of you. The senate leadership council will basically teach you how to be a senator.”

Chief of Staff Nick Larkins gave an update on the progress that has been made on the various elements of the platform that SGA President Chris Clemente and Vice President Rachel Altfield ran on last year. Highlights included:

-The addition of 40 tailgating spots to the “Knights on the Mall” reservation system.

-An increase in the number and kinds of professional suits available at the Knights Helping Knights Pantry.

-Additional charging stations have been made available at the library.

-Additional cameras are being added to UCF's parking garages, beginning with Garage B which has been the most frequent target of thieves.

-A system to set up meetings with SGA members via the SGA website has been implemented.

-The Bike Share program has been expanded.

-Poncho distribution was expanded to all Activities and Service Fee buildings last semester.

Much of the platform is still being worked on, including efforts to expand student options at the Rosen campus via changes to the shuttle system, and a variety of planned additions to the Student Union building as part of its expansion. An effort to make the SGA website available in Spanish is also ongoing.

Meetings are planned to be once a month for at least two more months. Interested students can sign up for notifications of future meetings at SGA's website.

Originally published Feb. 17

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