By Jamie Yoos
Many students at the College are somewhat familiar with Student Government as a concept. Every semester, the student body is encouraged to vote in their elections. Students see the campaigns of our peers as they run for Student Government positions. Of course, their job is to “govern” the school, but how exactly does it function and what achievements has it made for the College?
Student Government’s website describes their mission as, "Dedicated to enriching and enhancing the undergraduate student experience. We are committed to leading with integrity and holding ourselves accountable for representing the needs of our constituents with purpose and vision. Through advocacy, legislation, programming, service and the resolution of student issues, we strive to improve the overall welfare of TCNJ's student body."
Senior international studies major Roshni Raji, the Executive President of Student Government, describes how this mission is met.“In practice, this looks like participating in governance, to evaluate policies and its impacts on students and provide recommendations and feedback,” she explained. “Meeting with staff and administration to talk about issues like dining, parking, housing etc; conducting events like homecoming, finals fest, resume workshops, town halls etc; writing resolutions to advocate for changes on campus and overall just being the first point of contact in representing students and communicating their needs.”
Student Government has been working on various projects this year with the goal of bettering the TCNJ experience. “One of our primary projects is to resolve issues surrounding dining and bring back meal equivalency and we have been in continuous conversation with Sodexo and the Dining Services team.” says Raji.
In her presidential role, Raji works to advocate on behalf of students to members of the administration, including President Foster and members of her cabinet, on various issues. Raji also serves on the two Executive Committees in the governance system. She provides student input on policy issues and strategic planning. Internally, Raji supports cabinet officers and their initiatives.
Sophomore public health major Antigone Antonakakis currently serves as the Vice President for Administration and Finance.
“As a freshman completing my courses from home last year, I was looking to join an organization that would allow me to hone my leadership skills and connect with students across the campus.” she said. “I am tasked with overseeing the finances of Student Government and serving as the SG Representative to the Student Finance Board. I also represent students to TCNJ’s Vice President for Operations, Sharon Blanton, to address campus construction, parking, technology and campus safety.”
Student Government’s persisting goal, according to Antonakakis, is to represent the diverse student body at the College.
“While elections can be scary at first, I urge all students outside of Student Government to get involved and learn more about the opportunities that exist within our organization and across the campus,” she added.
Almost every role in Student Government is elected by the student body during the spring or fall elections. All members of cabinet and the sophomore, junior and senior class councils are elected in the spring elections, as well as three-fourths of the senior cohorts. The remaining senators and freshman class council members are elected in the fall elections.
Student Government can be found in the Brower Student Center room 210 and on Instagram at @tcnjsg.