The SNHU Student Government Association (SGA) is in the process of implementing numerous changes to its organization. These changes include elections for members of the SGA e-board and student senate, a complete overhaul to the structure of how it functions as an organization and an improved focus on its mission. As a result, students of SNHU and residents, in particular, have recently been exposed to an influx of marketing strategies taken on by SGA in an attempt to raise awareness of the recent efforts.
SGA has invested heavily in marketing themselves using various platforms like whiteboards around campus, flyers on bulletin boards and even sponsored advertisements on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. They have also gotten involved in campus activities as a sponsor of both Casino Night on March 21 and of the Munchiez Food Truck on the 23.
One marketing method, however, may have been too aggressive and has consequently been the source of frustration among a large group of students. Members of SGA went through each residence hall on campus and posted flyers on every student’s door; a move that left students feeling as though they were trying too hard to push their agenda. One student said, “I don’t like how it’s all in my face.”
Of course, the point of marketing something is to increase exposure and get a message across, but in this situation, students are justified in feeling frustrated. Students go without a lot of things when living on campus and one of the most significant is a space of their own. There is not much room for personal privacy at any college let alone SNHU, so having a small area to go back to without being bothered by the outside world is a necessity for decompression and personal sanity.
Even using the outside of an apartment or dorm door for flyers creates the feeling that your living space is also someone else’s advertising platform. SNHU’s policy only allows for clubs and organizations to post flyers in dorms by submitting them to Residence Life first. SGA did not go through this process. Instead, the organization had its members post the flyers on doors themselves.
The SGA flyers may be the only ones posted right now, but if these are accepted, what reason is there for any other people not to post things on doors? If this is allowed to fly, everyone’s doors could eventually look like the real-life embodiment of an email’s junk folder.
SGA does not currently have the strongest reputation on campus due to a past of inadequately representing the voices of students as well as there being somewhat of a disconnect between student and SGA perspectives. This marketing mishap is a small example of that kind of disconnect, but it should also be recognized that this potential mistake was made as a part of a bigger initiative to restructure SGA to better fulfill its responsibilities to the student body.
The mission of the SGA is to represent the best interests of the student community through shared governance, sound fiscal policy, beneficial services and leadership. SGA Executive Officer Ryan Evaul made himself available to go further into detail about the developing changes and how they aim to focus more on honoring that mission.
Evaul highlighted the fact that SGA had not been a proper representative for the voices of the students and would suffer from making goals for the organization that would rarely be achieved. There was also a problem with the organization’s ability to address student concerns being submitted into their system. Lastly, SGA dealt with an inconsistent level of awareness among members with regards to things going on within the organization. All of these issues ultimately led to an inability to claim student concerns as their main focus.
According to Evaul, these issues are the main priority in the restructuring of SGA. With the aid of a new student concern tracking system being developed by SGA Chief Information Officer Charlotte Webb, senators will be immediately assigned concerns and suggestions submitted by students. The submissions will remain in the system until they have been taken care of. There will also be a more thorough training procedure for senators to maintain a consistent level of awareness and unity.
Today, the national environment leaves people overly ready to feel disdain for anything related to politics or government of any kind. Perfection will never exist, and there are many who already know that SGA in the past has been a far distance from perfection, but given the moves being made and the attitudes of the members of our current SGA, there could be some substantial improvements coming down the line that warrant the recent marketing strategies.