Getting Involved with Student Government

By: 
Sarah Evarts
Class of: 
2017

In high school I got involved with my student government, mostly because it was something that my friends were also involved in (and also because it would get me out of homeroom).  Over the course of my four years, I ended up in higher positions and found I was really having an influence on my school. Despite my love of student government, it was not something I planned on pursuing in college.

Then, I arrived at St. Lawrence. Classes start, and thing got crazy as I dove head-first into all the activities that St. Lawrence offered. The first of these was when my First-Year Program (FYP) voted me to be our representative to First-Year Council (FYC). At SLU, each class has their own council and the goal of this group is to raise money for the class, host fundraisers for charities of choice and start to plan our class gift and various events sponsored by the class, including Senior Week. There are elections held every year to elect representatives for each council. This is one of the options that St. Lawrence has to get involved with student government.

Within the first semester of FYC I was on the executive board, and by the second semester I was president. Although unplanned, getting involved this way was one of the most beneficial activities I have invested time into at SLU because it encouraged me to know what was going on in the school, work with faculty members in several capacities, and work with the upperclass councils on various events and projects. Through FYC, I was able to make more friends in my class year (there are representatives from each FYP), make friends on the other class councils and work with experienced faculty members who are now a resource for me on campus.

The other form of student government to become involved with on campus is the Thelomathesian Society (Thelmo for short). Thelmo has members from all class years on campus, as well as an executive board and a junior executive board.  The goals of Thelmo are to govern the student body as a whole, attempting to improve campus with everything we do, manage the SLUSAF fund, provide budgets to organizations on campus and help students in any way possible.

The SLUSAF fund (SLUSAF stands for SLU Student Activities Fee) is comprised of the student activity fees each students pays every year. This money is divided among the organizations that request a budget every year, and then the extra money is put into a fund that is managed by Thelmo. Any group/student on campus is welcome to come to Thelmo and request funds through a contingency request. The students in Thelmo then vote on if the use for the money is beneficial to the entire campus. This is done through Thelmo to ensure that each group on campus is equally represented.

I applied for Thelmo the fall of my freshman year, and then became the elections chair the following semester. This position allowed me to plan and organize campus-wide elections for class councils and Thelmo Executive Board positions. This experience significantly shaped my first year at St. Lawrence because I was aware of everything that was happening on campus and was able to be the liaisons for my friends and student government. Thelmo gives everyone on campus a window into what is going on in the administration as well. Meetings are held every Wednesday evening and are open to the entire campus.

I love the ability to have an impact on the students here and leave my mark on SLU in every way possible. Being involved in student government gives me the ability to express my love for St. Lawrence in a way that benefits everyone. I hope that for the rest of my time here at SLU, I can stay involved and have as much of an impact on this campus as it has had on me.