SGO Thrives During Pandemic

By Caitlin Burns | November 3, 2020

“Our goal is always to be the voice for the students, to represent them with administration,” said Student Government Organization (SGO) President Kelly Muntzenberger ’21 about how the group has adjusted to online engagement. “The conversation is a lot deeper this year. We’re bonding over common issues. We lean on each other.”

Arcadia’s SGO focuses on enhancing the student experience through positive changes to campus. The organization aims to encourage student leadership through collaboration between Arcadia staff, faculty, and the student body. 

Muntzenberger said that SGO usually fields concerns about academics and facilities, but she said this year many of the concerns have been about course workloads and messaging, such as club and organizations recruitment and event promotion.

“It’s a trial run,” said Muntzenberger, who said that SGO worked throughout the summer to first adapt their in-person work to an All-Modes Ready plan, and then to completely online. “Our goal this semester was to really listen to students and hear what was and wasn’t working for them in this online environment and learn how they’re doing mentally and academically.”

While Muntzenberger will step down at the end of the semester when a new president succeeds her, she’s proud of how the SGO Executive Board, Senators, and Committees have made the organization work as well as possible this past year. At SGO’s most recent meeting on Oct. 27, the board approved the Chinese Food Club. The new club, which is mostly made up of students who transferred from Jiangsu University in the fall 2019, will focus on sharing Chinese cultural traditions and foods with the University community through hands-on virtual activities. 

Additionally, this semester SGO has welcomed President Ajay Nair and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jeff Rutenbeck to their meetings to discuss issues facing the University and students; in the Nov. 17 meeting, Recent Graduate Trustees Dr. Kyle Kammerle ’17, ’20DPT and Daniel Rivera ’17 will speak to the group from a Board perspective.  

“We’re just trying to push forward as best we can,” said Muntzenberger. “Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive, but we’re trying. I’m not giving up.”