There’s a lot of complaining on campus.

It’s not new, and it’s not unique to ENC.  We’re all guilty of it, but the fact remains that senseless complaining is annoying.

Very often, the complaints are about ENC.  Common criticisms include the food, chapel requirements, lack of events, etc.  What we don’t always acknowledge is that these features and characteristics of ENC aren’t necessarily written in stone.

There’s an established protocol for having your voice heard and bringing change to campus, but it’s not complaining.  The most valuable tool to communicate our concerns is the Executive SGA.

Like I said, this problem isn’t an ENC phenomenon.  In general, people are ignorant and passive when it comes to student government; they get engaged only when there’s an election or a controversy.  Maybe this will help you care a little bit more: you’re already paying the members of SGA.

$116.50 of every student’s student fee goes to SGA.  They’re working for us, and that’s a responsibility they take seriously.  SGA wants the student body’s input and feedback so they can optimize our college experience.

They do a lot to make themselves accessible, and they have an open door policy.  They’ve sufficiently made their presence known, (and sure, they could always do more), but it would help considerably if students would offer suggestions on how to do better.  Honestly, unless you’re new this year, if you don’t know who the members of SGA are and what they do, then you’re just not paying attention. (If you still don’t know, check out their page on ENC’s website)

Some students think that SGA doesn’t have any real power to make changes.  This isn’t true.

In the spring of 2013, SGA got open dorms extended on the weekends in Young.  How?  Students drafted a proposal that SGA took to the administration and pushed for it to go through.  This may seem like a minor victory, but for those of us living in Young, it’s a great improvement on a rule that many students take exception to.

Something last year’s SGA started is the Green Revolving Fund.  The GRF is a fund that will be used to pay for “green” improvements to campus.  The money that’s saved by the changes will then go back into the GRF.  Over time, campus will get increasingly more environmentally friendly, and the GRF will grow exponentially.

The quality that these achievements share is that they are tandem efforts between SGA and ENC students who want to make a change.  SGA will be working with environmental studies students for ideas on the best ways to use the GRF.  The open dorms debate is still open for discussion, but SGA needs people willing to collaborate on an intelligent, tactful proposal.

There are other projects in the works, too.  Don’t like the caf food? Director of Food Services Rick Harmon wants to reinstate the Food Committee, a panel of students he meets with to advise him on how to improve food service.  SGA also wants to increase the number of 24-hour co-ed spaces on campus.  They need input from students to figure out how and where that’s going to work.

SGA is willing to listen to any student’s ideas.  Their offices are right next to Hebrews, and their office hours are posted on the bulletin board outside.  There’s also an open meeting with general SGA every other Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. which is open to the entire student population.

If you have something you want to see happen on campus, communicate with SGA.  They will help you implement it.  And, if you have a problem with something around here, respectfully let them know, and offer to be part of the solution.

Don’t just complain.