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SGA launches new transparency initiative and Career Center program

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The Student Government Association announced a partnership with the Career Center and passed legislation intended to build trust between the organization and students at Wednesday’s senate meeting.

Daisy Gillam, the assistant director of events & employer services, gave a presentation to the senate on the Professional Networking Series, a new initiative endorsed by recently appointed College of Science Senator Victoria Nguyen. Gillam was joined by Graduate Assistant Briana McCarthy, who was credited as the lead developer of the new series.

“[The goal of the series is] to provide a learning environment for students to develop their networking skills with potential future employers specific to their degree and career pathway,” Gillam’s presentation slide read.

The Professional Networking Series combines the Career Center’s previous Industry Dinners and annual Etiquette Dinner to provide an opportunity for students to engage in a professional conversation with a successful leader in their degree or career field. These potential future employers will work with students to help them visualize an ideal career path after graduation in an attempt to foster confidence in their choice of degree.

Nguyen became involved in the series after reaching out to Gillam to provide more professional programming for the College of Science. The senator referred back to her platform’s goal to “bridge the divide” between pre-med students and those belonging to other science tracks. Her aim to provide alternative career paths aligns with the Professional Networking Series’ own aspirations.

“We want to make sure that every student knows that there’s a lot of flexibility in their degrees,” McCarthy said. “In the future, they can do whatever they set forth to do with their degree.”

Nguyen is writing legislation to support a collaboration with Employer Services, college-specific career coaches and each college’s senator. The “power group[s]” Nguyen described will cater to each college’s specific needs and consider any feedback the college’s senator has received from students. Future actions include senators meeting with Gillam in advance of college career fairs to brainstorm the best potential employers to invite.

As for in-house initiatives, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Senator Grant Johnson, Honors College Senator Jermaine “JT” Turner and Advocacy Committee member Devon Skinner proposed a constitutional amendment to create the Office of the Inspector General.

“The OIG is an unprecedented step in ensuring transparency, building public trust in the SGA and providing a safe haven for those who would otherwise fight private battles alone,” Skinner said.

The amendment passed unanimously and will be presented to a student referendum at an undetermined time around the university’s Homecoming Week.

The new office is an independent auditing structure that will handle special internal investigations to ensure transparency and accountability. Investigations can be launched by SGA President Michael Luecke, the SGA senate and the OIG itself. The office will not have the power to hire or fire members but will provide recommendations to the appropriate parties. The OIG will also act as a place both SGA members and university students with grievances can go to.

“We want more student involvement,” Johnson said. “With that being said, one of the things that kept coming up with multiple of my fellow students and constituents was that SGA was not inclusive and there was division between the branches. This is something we need to tackle to make sure that not only does SGA keep functioning, it keeps everything productive and it makes sure that everyone is being treated fairly.”

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Featured Image: SGA President Michael Luecke, along with other senators, watch a presentation during an in-person session on Feb. 22, 2020. Image by John Anderson

Article Originally Published by Ileana Garnand on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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