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Student government leads to student success

November 15, 2019

KOKOMO, Ind. — Being involved on campus makes a college student most likely to succeed.

As Indiana University Kokomo’s student body president and vice president, Mattie Tom and Stephen Markley, together with the Student Government Association (SGA) officers, do their part to make sure that students are not only having fun, but also preparing for promising futures.

“Studies show people who are involved on campus have a better chance to get a higher-paying job, and better grades,” said Markley, from Kokomo. “You get to be hands-on with leading meetings, budgeting, and scheduling, giving you experience that will help in the future.”

SGA plans activities as entertainment, but also to give students a reason to stay on campus, rather than going to class and then going home. They also are the governing body for the more than 35 student organizations, that provide a place to belong and leadership opportunities.

“When you stay on campus, you’re more apt to do your homework on campus, which means you have access to faculty if you have questions,” said Tom, a Carmel resident. “When we have activities, many times faculty come to those, which gives us a chance to connect with them outside of class.”

In addition to Tom and Markley, SGA leaders include Marcus Pruitt, Topeka, chief justice, and chairpersons Mackenzie Damon, Russiaville, Student Union Board (SUB); Iliana Mehmeti, Albania, Cougar Advocates for Diversity (CAD); Nick Huff, Kokomo, finance; Miranda Addison, Kokomo, constitution;  and Mikayla Tom, Carmel, Student Athletic and Wellness Board (SAWB).

Their slogan for the academic year is “a private school education at a public school price,” so they have planned fun and educational activities to engage students, give them places to connect with new friends, and make them excited to be IU Kokomo students.

Damon said what happens outside the classroom is an important component of student success, so student leaders work hard to find the best mix of activities — especially during Welcome Week, the first week of each semester, which often has multiple chances for engagement daily.

“It makes the campus so lively, and we want to continue that throughout the rest of the semester,” she said. “We want students to be excited to be here all semester. We want to repeat the same energy all year.”

Timing and frequency of events has become more important with two student housing options now available, Mattie Tom said. They are considering offering more movie nights and other options on evenings and weekends, to give those students a reason to be on campus.

“As we become less of a commuter campus, we need to adapt and be accessible,” she said.

SGA oversees all student organizations, approving budgets and constitutions, and making sure they are staying within their guidelines.

In addition, they are a voice for students to faculty, staff, and administration. Mattie Tom meets with Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke biweekly, to update her on campus events and share any student concerns.

“We allow the student body to be heard by campus leadership,” she said. “We are their voice.”

All students may be involved in SGA. For more information visit the Office of Student Life and Campus Diversity, Kelley Student Center, room 210, or go to iuklife.iuk.edu.

Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.

Last updated: 11/15/2019