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Within our responsibility to maintain transparency with our fellow students, the Student Government Association announces today the publication of its Midterm report. Our goal is to share our progress on the major projects we launched in the beginning of the semester with all members of the AUI community. The report also summarizes the challenges that our team has faced and how it overcame them. Finally, the report also states 6 major goals that the SGA wants to work on for the remainder of our mandate.

This post is only a summary of our midterm report, to read the complete version, please scroll below or download the report by following this link.

First, a more credible and representative SGA

The first major goal we wanted to achieve was to re-establish the concept of a real representative Student Government Association. In fact, approval rates of the SGA when we were elected were as low as 33% of the student body (SGA Student Survey, December 2018). Students expressed their distrust of the Student Government Association as well as their concern of the absence of any entity of student representation at Al Akhawayn University.

In fact, not only students were unsatisfied of the performance of the Student Government Association. According to the latest AUI Self-Study Report for accreditation, the SGA was facing many challenges especially when it comes to the well representation of the student body.

Part of the challenge is to educate SGA members on their duties and responsibilities, and more importantly, their role as legitimate representatives of the entire student body.

Al Akhawayn University – NEASC Self-Study Accredation 2017 – Page 40

Thus, relaunching the concept of student representation at Al Akhawayn University through the Student Government Association has been our top priority. We proceeded by the development of an effective communication strategy that included high responsiveness, a better rate of communication through official statements and social media posts, as well as the establishment of an efficient complaint management process.

We also rethought the structure of the Student Government Association by establishing a better internal organization, with specific committees and sub-committees and constant reporting through the use of team management tools.

The most important aspect of restoring the credibility of the Student Government Association is working on the most pressing issues that the students reported to us through the student survey we published at the beginning of the semester.

Second, the transitional period and the major projects

The Student Government Association had to work on establishing a strong relationship with the multiple stakeholders in our university. We dedicated our first month to multiple meetings with students, head of departments, the Vice-President of Student Affairs and the Vice-President of Academic Affairs, the Deans as well as the President. In fact, we appreciate greatly their commitment to dedicate time and efforts as well as trust to deal with the SGA.

Thanks to the dedication of our SGA Senators, we’ve been able to communicate the concerns of students to most of the concerned parties. We also contributed greatly to providing concrete solutions and the SGA became the official authority by which students are informed of decisions. This enabled us to communicate the right information and avoid any spreading of false rumors.

Major Projects

Books Policy

The policy on buying textbooks in AUI is considered as one of the most challenging issues that many SGA boards tackled in their mandates. The Student Government Association’s current board focused on continuing the efforts of the previous boards, by the development of the book buy-back policy that would let students sell/buy their textbooks without having to pay high fees for books that will probably not be used. Another aspect of our work on the books policy is to push for a new proposal to switch to a digital textbooks platform in the near future.

Policies and Regulations

A special committee of SGA Senators examined the policies and regulations of our university in order to identify articles and elements that need to be updated and amended in order to ensure the general benefit of our community.

Our multiple meetings with the Vice-President of Student Affairs and the President enabled us to advance towards a complete policy reform and the approval of most of the amendments we have reported to the administration.

Dining Services

The dining committee worked closely with the Dining Services director throughout the semester to solve issues related to price display, quality control and meal offerings.

Campus Store

We worked closely with the Campus Store management to communicate the needs of students in terms of products to be offered in the store and their organization.

Academics & Catalog Review

Although our involvement was hindered by many cases of crisis management, the SGA collaborated with the schools in order to contribute to the Academic Vision of our university. We provided our input when it comes to pre-registration processes, course offerings, catalog improvements as well as the future vision of the three main schools.

Student Activities

The state of Student Activities and Student Engagement on our campus is very concerning. We tried to understand the roots of the issue as well as include as many stakeholders as possible to make our campus more active and engaging. The SGA re-established during Spring, the Student Leadership Council to tackle many issues that the leaders of clubs and student organizations reported in our meetings with them. The SGA will also publish a complete report about Student Activities and Involvement soon.

Van Services

We aim to provide AUIers with better transportation options, by offering a van service that is affordable, close to the residences and more convenient for students.

Our proposal to make vans more available is being studied and awaits implementation as soon as details are finalized.

Finally, the reflection

At the SGA, we do realize that we need to concretize most of the projects we are working on in order to yield the results we want. Our focus during this first period was to transition from a state in which our university lacked the existence of an efficient SGA to a full-scale representation entity. This pushed us to spend more time on developing a sustainable structure, re-establishing our credibility in the community and advancing projects that are considered as a priority for the students in AUI.

The Student Government Association also needed to proceed to many internal team changes and re-assignments in order to guarantee the efficiency of its team. The SGA is an entity that depends heavily on pro-activeness, commitment, dedication to the common vision of the organization, professionalism and integrity.

Our focus in the second half of the mandate will be on finalizing the projects we mentioned above and in the report, fostering a better environment for student-led initiatives and ideas, more efficient communication and complaint management, establishing a relationship with Al Akhawayn Alumni Association as well as restructuring the SGA through a midterm election.

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