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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

New eight-week course for current, aspiring SGA members announced

Student+Government+Assocation+Advisor+Gabriel+Fonseca+and+Senate+Advisor+Brandon+McClain+give+SGA+an+update+on+the+Shocker+Support+Locker+in+fall+2022.
Danielle Wagner
Student Government Assocation Advisor Gabriel Fonseca and Senate Advisor Brandon McClain give SGA an update on the Shocker Support Locker in fall 2022.

A course designed for new and returning Student Government Association members has been introduced to better inform and inspire those involved in student government. The new addition to the student organization leadership minor curriculum is for students of all majors and minors to explore the roles, responsibilities and functions of student government.

According to Brandon McClain and Gabriel Fonseca, the Leadership in Governance Organizations course will touch on SGA-relevant subjects like policy creation, ethical leadership and decision making and navigating conflict and accepting criticism. While the class is not strictly for SGA members, its subjects are specifically geared toward building the skills necessary for success in student government

“(This class determines) how we get (students) to a position to where they feel comfortable and confident, not just in their role, but the rest of the Student Government Association,” McClain, assistant director for Student Engagement, Advocacy, and Leadership, said. “On the other side of that, it’s also making sure that for those students who don’t know what SGA does, this is an opportunity for them to be educated on all the great stuff that student government is doing.”

Enrolled students will participate in weekly workshops, activities, self-awareness in leadership reflection assignments and interviews with student leaders and government officers. The intent of these exercises is to not only expand upon students’ knowledge of SGA but to encourage them to think about how they can do “the most good.”

“Regardless of what you believe in or what you do, at the end of the day … student government is about doing the most good. It’s not about having perfection from session to session, from day to day,” McClain said. “It’s about everyday when you come to work, or you come into your meetings, whatever the case may be; are you doing things that produce the most good for the most amount of students?”

Chelsea Redger-Marquardt, an assistant professor for organizational leadership and learning, said the course will help students learn new strategies that can be applied both to SGA and to everyday life.

“How to set a meeting, how to set an agenda, how to do all of those things that are important, regardless of the organizational context, they’re applicable wherever you might be able to put them into practice,” Redger-Marquardt said. “Those are useful skills. (Students) will be able to apply those in all of their different professional careers.”

While course enrollment offers preference to students currently involved in SGA, McClain said students who are interested but were not able to enroll, whether due to financial limitations or full class capacity, are always welcome to “just show up.”

“This is not a class where I want students to feel as if they’re alienated and can’t participate in. If you want to show up to the class and not take the class for credit, just jump in,” McClain said. “This is an opportunity to learn … how to be a more functioning student government and learn what a functional student government should look like.”

The eight-week-long course is three credit hours and will begin on Oct. 19. McClain said students are welcome to join the Nov. 2 discussion on ethical leadership and decision making and the constituent engagement and representation class on Nov. 6. 

Students interested in the course are encouraged to reach out to McClain or swing by his office in the RSC.

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About the Contributors
Allison Campbell, News Editor
Allison Campbell is one of the news editors for The Sunflower. A South African native, Campbell is a junior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Campbell hopes to pursue a career in editing after graduation. They use any pronouns.
Danielle Wagner, Reporter
Danielle Wagner is a second-year sports reporter for The Sunflower from LaCrosse, Kansas. Wagner is a sophomore majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and minor in political science. Her favorite quote is by Kristen Costello: "And one day the girl with the books became the woman writing them."

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