Student Government Association starts new projects

Carson Bonner, Campus Carrier news editor

Berry College’s Student Government Association (SGA) is a vital part of campus life, representing the student body and implementing projects to make Berry a better place for everyone. Over the years, the SGA has undertaken a range of special projects to enhance campus life, from adding water bottle filler stations to retrofitting lighting fixtures.

One project that SGA took on was adding water battle filling stations throughout most residence halls, excluding the Ford Complex.

“The water bottle filling stations were able to be installed on compatible water fountains,” SGA President Joanna Clark said in an email. “In order to install them at Ford, we would have had to completely replace the water fountain first. To maximize our funds, we decided to install more fillers in other residence halls. There are currently no plans to take on [installing water filling stations] at Ford.”

The goal of the special projects is to ensure that students have a say in ways to improve the campus and can also make a tangible difference in Berry’s environment. The special projects committee works together to brainstorm projects to be carried out and find ways to implement them through the year. The projects are voted on at SGA meetings to ensure everyone’s opinion is heard.

“Every year, students at SGA propose ideas for the project and then they get to be the ones to decide what is implemented,” Clark said. “I encourage students to attend SGA meetings to voice what they want to see on campus and potential new special projects. As always, I urge students to ask questions, because those questions spark conversation.”

Last semester, SGA pledged to have a punching bag placed in the Cage Center. This year, the SGA is working on retrofitting the lights along Bertrand Way, reflecting light on the ground rather than the sky, which will improve campus safety and sustainability. While the SGA has been successful in implementing various projects, it has faced challenges as well, especially in the supply chain for the heavy bag at the Cage. 

“We know that supply chain issues exist, we saw this when we had a 4 months delay for the water bottle filling stations,” Clark said. “However, we did not anticipate the extent of supply chain issues we have experienced. We placed this order through the vendor over the summer and originally had an installation date in September. The vendor came to install the bag in December but did not have the correct installation equipment. I have just received word that the unit is being manufactured next week. The entire heavy bag is on the priority list to be delivered as soon as possible.”

Students have expressed interest and excitement at hearing of the punching bag installation. According to freshman Isabel Hawkins, it will be a positive step in promoting a new sport to all demographics that tends to be targeted to one gender demographic.

“I believe that expanding opportunities for Berry students to engage in new sports and healthy activities is not only positive, but also crucial in challenging traditional gender norms and stereotypes,” Hawkins said. “Historically, combat sports like boxing have been associated with masculinity, which can leave women feeling discouraged from participating in them. However, providing access to a punching bag can serve as a powerful tool in breaking down gender stereotypes and promoting gender equity in sports.”

Having a punching bag can also allow people to practice self-defense and equip them with skills for protection and empower women specifically to grow physical strength, according to Hawkins. 

“A gym with a punching bag can be a safe and supportive space for women to build their strength, confidence, and self-esteem,” Hawkins said.  “It can also equip them with practical skills to defend themselves in potentially dangerous situations.”

Students can get involved in the SGA by attending meetings, which occur every other Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Krannert Ballroom. SGA encourages students to propose ideas for special projects and attend meetings to voice their thoughts and opinions. They also welcome questions from students, as they spark conversations that can lead to meaningful change on campus. The most important part of the SGA is accurately representing the student body and implementing change. 

“As officers, we have a unique position in which we have the opportunity to voice student opinions and thoughts to administrators,” Clark said. “There is nothing more that the SGA officers want than for students to share their thoughts and ideas on ways to make Berry better. Please utilize your SGA to ask questions, share thoughts, and learn more about what is happening at Berry. SGA welcomes you to our office and meetings at any time.”

The SGA office is located in Krannert to the right of the main entrance. Students can also contact the SGA office via email at or by phone at 706-236-2288. Officers are on call throughout the day to hear from students and answer questions or receive feedback. To hear about upcoming events and stay up to date on SGA initiatives, students can follow SGA on Instagram at @berrysga.

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