2016 was a landmark year for APSU’s Student Government Association. Numerous pieces of legislation were passed addressing a wide array of issues, SGA itself was restructured, unprecedented moves were made and SGA-sponsored events garnered record turnouts.

“I’d say I’m most proud of the success of hardworking senators and hardworking executive council,” SGA President Ryan Honea said.

The organization sponsored two of the biggest events on APSU, the annual Mud Bowl, as well as G.H.O.S.T. which invited the surrounding community to participate in safe trick-or-treating inside Fortera Stadium. Both events drew large crowds and required the contribution of all SGA members to be successful.

“Mud Bowl and G.H.O.S.T had absolutely huge turnouts and were run very efficiently. I guess I would say I’m just proud of the organization as a whole and how much we’ve grown,” Honea said.

The past year also saw SGA venture into uncharted territory with the direct funding of Del Square Psi for their upcoming solar eclipse event in August. SGA has never directly funded a student organization, as the Student Organization Council (SOC) typically handles funds for campus organizations. According to the legislation, it was intended to show SGA’s commitment to APSU students.

Another big shift for SGA came in the form of the way the organization represents the student body. Dominic Critchlow’s Act No. 13 was passed and changed the number of senators elected from each college and classification. The legislation was written in an attempt to give students better representation.

After it was reported that SGA exceeded their budget in the 2015-16 session, a committee dedicated to the assessment of SGA spending was formed with the hopes that funds will be properly handled and made more transparent. Honea said that transparency was a big focus for SGA in 2016.

“Our increase in transparency has gone very well. Students are able to be much more informed as to our actions and our finances which leads to better decision making on our part,” Honea said.

Other pieces of legislation sought to address issues by installing more blue police boxes on campus, expanding the school zone on College Street and moving SGA’s meeting time to 5 p.m. with the hopes of furthering student engagement. Honea said he hopes to continue the trend of a hardworking and productive SGA in 2017.

“I would describe it [2016] as a semester of learning,” Honea said. “We’ve had to learn how to work well with another. I think with the incoming semester, we are going to be able to make a lot of good change together.”