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SGA works behind the scenes

Some may criticize the Student Government Association for not expressing the voice of the student body, but the student-run government claims that they truly are impacting the school - they just are doing it out of the public eye

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Courtesy of SGA

A completed version of one of SGA’s projects of the year, the Take What You Need wall, hanging in the 500 Hall

Gary Brady isn’t Hillsborough High School’s only leader.

The Student Government Association (SGA) is Hillsborough’s own student-run legislative branch. They are responsible for organizing events for the
school and advocating for the student body. But is their voice really effective?

“We really do it all”

The members of SGA pride themselves in everything the association does for the school. “Throughout the school, we work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure everything goes smoothly, from pep rallies to homecoming to fundraisers to donation drives-we really do it all,” junior Emily Quin said.

Quin’s fellow leaders work alongside her to orchestrate events like homecoming, charity drives, and prom, and they aren’t really worried about the club’s voice. “SGA has a really positive impact on school activities and getting students involved,” senior Breanna Ciccone said.

Ciccone isn’t alone in this sentiment. Many of her fellow members feel a sense of joy in the work SGA accomplishes and the impacts it has, big or small.

“SGA has unique access to the Hillsborough administration, which allows us to bring up topics that are personal to the student body,” Quin said. “Through our widespread and unique reach in HHS, we have the ability to extend our love and passion for this school into the student body, and I think that is an important aspect as well.”

Making an impact

SGA doesn’t just have an impact on the attitude of the student body, it changes how things are done. “SGA is responsible for, or is an integral part, of the large majority of events that take place in the school. We plan, organize and execute all school assemblies, including getting school involved for games, working with recognized groups and sports teams, and coordinating with administration,” said senior and SGA vice president Marlee Linnell.

SGA is also responsible for one of the most recognizable projects around campus – the Take What You Need wall, which was created to spread positive messages that students can take from the poster in the 500 hallway.

Helping others

Ciccone, Quin, and Linnell are excited about what they do in SGA because it makes a difference for the community surrounding Hillsborough and for those in need.

A major part of what SGA does is organize school events in partnership with charities. In fact, the drives that collected items for Haiti earlier this school year were orchestrated by SGA. But that isn’t the only thing they have in the works for this year.

“In the next month, Nicole Hernandez and I, along with SGA, are hosting The Film on the Field to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Center,” Linnell said. “We are beyond excited to have the resources and dedicated members to execute an event of this magnitude.”

SGA has had success with events like this in the past. Last year, they raised over $4,000 at the same event. This money was also donated to a charity.

The work that SGA does on a high school campus has historically had the ability to reach the lives of those miles from the main office.

Behind the scenes

Although SGA has organized events that give back to the community such as The Film on the Field, it is still criticized by some students for not being present enough in school.

However, members like Linnell don’t this discourage them. “I feel the stigma of ‘SGA does nothing’ persists because so much of what we do is behind the scenes,” Linnell explained.

Not all heroes wear capes, and Linnell is understanding of the pretense that SGA has in the eyes of some students. But she doesn’t let it take away from what she does with the club. “We don’t expect gratitude or glory for what we do for the school.

We do it because we know the impact that we have, not because we expect others to,” Linnell said.

Open to criticism

This doesn’t mean that SGA isn’t open to criticism. Leaders of the association listen to the critiques of the students to take the necessary measures to make the voices of SGA’s members heard.

“In fact, we’re working very hard to completely restructure the student government organizations for next year to make them more accessible and effective,” Linnell said. It’s the goal of SGA to continue to make improvements so that they can but the voice of change in the school when leadership is needed.

Despite those who believe SGA is just an insignificant force in the daily lives of the student body, it does make a difference.

Whether its outreach is on a scale as small as a classroom or as large as across the ocean to countries like Haiti, the voice of SGA can be heard by all those who attend Hillsborough High School.

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News from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fla.
SGA works behind the scenes