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SGA tours Capitol, visits national monuments

TALONS+OUT+IN+D.C.%3A+SGA+officers+posing+with+their+talons+out+in+a+photo+with+Representative+Ralph+Abraham.+
TALONS OUT IN D.C.: SGA officers posing with their talons out in a photo with Representative Ralph Abraham.

TALONS OUT IN D.C.: SGA officers posing with their talons out in a photo with Representative Ralph Abraham.

TALONS OUT IN D.C.: SGA officers posing with their talons out in a photo with Representative Ralph Abraham.

Alan Rawles, [email protected]

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The ULM Student Government Association (SGA) is looking to improve its effectiveness on campus. To do this, they went to the seat of the U.S. Government to learn new techniques and study American history.

SGA officers Bryce Bordelon, Joey Walker, Ellen Ingram and Cody Crnkovik traveled to Washington D.C. along with many other college SGAs to the American Student Government Association (ASGA) conference to improve their roles on campus.

Though they were in D.C. to learn, the four officers and Meagan Lee, the associate coordinator for Student Life, also took time to tour the nation’s capital.

The tour included a special surprise from Congressman Ralph Abraham, who invited the SGA members to tour the Capitol building. 

While at the Capitol, the SGA members were able to see the return of Louisiana Senator Steve Scalise, who had been shot at a baseball game in June. Bordelon, a senior construction management major and the president of SGA, was happy to see all the members of Congress unite over Scalise’s return.

“Everybody put their differences aside, you know, no political parties, just, you know, that was nice,” Bordelon said.

Ingram, a junior biology major and secretary of SGA, was surprised to see the reaction from both sides of Congress when Scalise returned.

“I’ve never seen people clap for so long,” she said. “They clapped, they cheered, they made noises; it was quite something.”

The SGA officers also visited various Smithsonian museums and monuments around the city. The group rented bikes to travel from one building to the other.

The officers rode through the National Mall and stopped at museums such as the Holocaust Museum and memorials such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.

The bike ride was tiring, according to Ingram, who said she wasn’t much of a bike rider, but she was glad she was able to experience the city.

“The conference was set up to where we had a half a day to tour each day,” Ingram said.

During the parts of the day they spent at the conference, the officers attended workshop sessions and networked with other schools.

One of the sessions helped SGA members learn more about how to promote campus elections.

Bordelon said this was one of the key lessons he learned at the ASGA conference.

“The amount of students we have voting on our elections is above the national average,” Bordelon said. “The more students that vote, the better representation of the student body is heard.”

ULM’s election turnout is 11 to 12 percent of the student body compared to the average of three percent, according to Walker, a junior risk management and insurance major and vice president of SGA.

Along with election turnout improvements, the SGA officers spoke with vendors and are trying to continue offering campus improvements.

One of those improvements includes a portable charging station for phones and tablets.

The charging station not only allows students to charge their phones without a cord, it can be moved to different areas depending on what events may be taking place.

Crnkovik, a senior biology major and the treasurer for SGA, said he has not seen SGA moving fast with their projects in recent years.

He hopes that will change this semester. 

“This year we are trying to get everything rolling as quickly as we can so that we can see change happen,” Crnkovik said.

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SGA tours Capitol, visits national monuments