By: NICK WORT
IU South Bend’s Student Government Association (SGA) has a new president and a new face in Justin Chupp. Formerly a SGA senator, Chupp plans on leading the association and the student body toward a sharper focus on student involvement and increased cooperation between on-campus clubs and organizations.
“I really love to be the change that I want to see and I love leadership. I think that this is an opportunity to really serve the student body as well as the IU system,” Chupp said. “I really enjoyed being involved with student government as a senator over this last year and I believe that I can help make a difference here on campus by representing the student body’s voice and making sure that their voice is represented both in committees and also university-wide.”
Chupp’s new position within the SGA was not the only change in the association. Four of the 12 senators are completely new to the SGA. The other eight are returning to the roles they held last year.
“I’m really looking forward to this year and the amount of leaders that we have in student government this year. They’re excited about making a difference,” Chupp said. “The Student Government Association is not there to represent themselves, but the student body as a whole. And we really encourage students to become engaged in the meetings as well as reaching out to their elected representatives to continue to let their voices be heard.”
Chupp plans on focusing his time as SGA president on increasing student life and student involvement on campus, as well as helping increase communication between students and organizations on campus.
“I think that one of the things is really working with students, faculty and administration. Kind of collaborating and having conversations on campus about things that are important to the student body. That way we can work together and really help move this campus forward toward its needs,” Chupp said.
One way the SGA hopes to improve student awareness and input is by creating town hall-like events on campus. At these events, students would be able to communicate directly with the SGA, as well as IUSB’s deans and chancellor. Chupp noted that this idea has yet to come to life, but it has been favorably received by many of those who would be involved.
“I know it’s difficult sometimes for students to feel like their voices are actually heard at that level. And so I believe that that is something that I would personally like to look into,” Chupp said.
Working with clubs is also an important goal for the SGA this year, as well as trying to create ways for IUSB’s various clubs to come together and organize.
“As always, you want to move forward and one way of doing that is helping clubs collaborate with each other and create partnerships in similar events,” Chupp said. “Events where they can come together and maybe bring both sides together, which might attract more of a variety of students.”
One proposed plan is the Titan Tour. This program’s specifics are still being finalized, but it will work toward increasing student involvement on campus and increasing club communication. Students will have the opportunity to learn more about this program in the coming weeks as it is unveiled. The program will also receive support from Titan Productions.
“It is very encouraging, as I work with faculty, administration as well as other student leaders here on campus, Chupp said. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm for this year moving forward and a lot of enthusiasm for collaborating together. I think that this is very beneficial in helping everyone continue to find areas that need improvement as well as helping us leverage each other when needed.”
Chupp also pointed out that the SGA can be a great resource for the many incoming freshman.
“New students should know that the Student Government Association is a position of service and not a position of power,” Chupp stated. “Their voices are valuable to us. I hope they believe that they can make a difference and I hope they see that they can utilize the SGA to continue to push their ideas.”
SGA meetings are held almost every Friday. The meetings are tentatively scheduled for noon, with the possibility for meetings at 1 p.m. The SGA can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 574-520-5572.