Perhaps the unsung heroes of Student Government Association (SGA), the Communications Committee of SGA, under the leadership of Vice-President Jelani Canty, takes it upon themselves to ensure that knowledge of the organization is disseminated to the student body through any and all manners possible. From both within and outside the organization, one of the most cited complaints regarding the Illinois Tech Student Government Association is a lack of readily visible transparency in both its actions and members. Thus, an overarching theme of projects within the Communications Committee is to bridge the perceived gap between the general student body and SGA. Ongoing projects such as facilitating an SGA liaison for every student organization to a possible weekly radio show for SGA updates, the Communications Committee works behind the scenes of the organization’s operations to promote visibility and accessibility. These potential projects are just among many ideas floating around the committee achieve these overarching goals. However, one item of recent focus is the outdated status of the SGA website. Working with Canty, Communications Committee Senators Nathan Jones, David Sobel, and Kislay Bhagat are all working towards extending the reach of SGA to the digital forefront.
Accusations of SGA failing to remain topical and connected to the student body are, at times, completely justified. As it currently stands, the SGA website fails to provide a correct list of each college’s senators or even the organization’s executive board. This fundamental lack of information will not stand for much longer. Vice President of Communications Jelani Canty has personally sought the necessary training in updating the organization website, and Senators David Sobel, Nathan Jones, and Kislay Bhagat are all in the midst of both gathering the necessary biographical data from current senators and inputting this data onto the website. Although perhaps at a less than optimal time, SGA’s Communications Committee is actively attempting to correct the outdated status of the website in order to both establish validity for the organization and push it into the forefront of student life. Perhaps the overall goal is best summed up Senator Sobel, who expresses his desire to create “a utility for obtaining information about school functions and updates on SGA happenings in an accessible manner.” However, presenting information about each SGA member is just one piece of the SGA website’s full potential. Being an immediately accessible source of governing documents, a growing compendium of meeting minutes, and a real-time feed for updates on ongoing projects across every committee are all items on the agenda for this project. Of particular note is the creation of what has been referred to as a “Student Organization Wiki” where executive boards across our campus may have access to a digital one-stop for any and all questions on how to run and advertise their respective organizations. From reserving a meeting space to submitting a purchase request, the SGA website of the future will hopefully serve as a centralized hub to answer any student organization concern. Both this facet of the website and the project as a whole are most eloquently summarized by Senator Nathan Jones, in his desire to create “a hub where both students and student organizations can come to a single site to get their questions answered. The website is more than just design updates: it’s about functionality, practicality, and personality. We want students to know who and what SGA is, and I think this is a perfect way to show students we’re serious about making a positive impact on campus.”