Spotlight on Clubs: SGA NYC
Learn about the student organization that represents you and the student body at Pace NYC Campus!
The Student Government Association (SGA) represents the voice and rights of the student body, but also aims to help the greater New York area. With a long history of making positive improvements on campus, SGA is passionate about bettering the Pace Community and providing a place for students to get involved and pursue the changes they wish to see. Get to know more about the history of SGA, the group’s goals, and its fascinating history in this Q&A.
Q: What makes your club unique to Pace?
A: We are unique to Pace because not only do we have an effect on our campus, but we also have ties to organizations outside of ourselves. We work frequently with the Collegiate Congress which is a group of student leaders around the greater New York area. We try to branch out and make sure we’re not only helping the Setter Community, but the greater community as well.
Q: What’s one of your proudest moments as a club?
A: As an organization we are really proud of the work we do and we’ve had many great moments. Among our proudest was getting the Wall Street Journal on campus. The WSJ went through a semester-long pilot period and once it was deemed valuable to Pace students, went into full effect. That was a situation where there was a student body need that SGA was able to fulfill.
Q: Why should people join your club?
A: Since 1953, the Student Government Association has been for improving campus life at Pace. We are the official student governing body on campus, and the people that join SGA are those that see the inherent issues that face the undergraduate student body. Therefore, students join SGA because they have a personal mission and reason to do so. Separate from leadership, joining SGA means that you will be a part of an expansive network of students and alumni that have gone on to intern at companies such as NBCUniversal, Goldman Sachs, AIG, and Microsoft, go abroad to help those in need through the Global Medical Brigades, and attend summer programs such as the Harvard Business School Summer Venture in Management.
Q: What signature events and achievements are you guys known for/do you have any coming up?
A: Every fall semester SGA holds the Winter Spectacular which is a non-denominational celebration of the holiday season. We have been hosting this event since 2013 and we look forward to it every year. The Dean of Students, Marijo Russell O’Grady is always in attendance as well as the President and/or Provost of our University. We find this event is a wonderful way to unite the Setter Community right before we go home for break.
Q: If you could describe your club in a few words, what would they be?
A: We would describe SGA as growth because we are continually striving for excellence and to be better than we were the previous year.
Q: What are the goals of the club?
A: Our goals are to increase membership and campus visibility. We want everyone on campus to know what we do, how we do it, and how and why they can get involved.
Q: What is your club’s history?
A: (From the University Archivist)
As is true for many things at Pace, identifying a specific founding date for the Student Government Association is not easy. However, here is some of the information I found in looking through Student Handbooks dating back to the first Pace College Student Handbook in 1949.
The earliest PC handbooks make no reference to any type of student government organization. The first mention is in the 1953–1954 Student Handbook, which has one section devoted to the “Student Council”. This was a single council for all Pace students.
Two years later, in the 1955–1956 Handbook, there are two separate Student Councils described, one for day and one for evening students.
In 1961, a Student Activities Board was established by the Day Student Council to coordinate and develop activity programs at Pace. By the mid-1960s, both these day student organizations were combined into the Day Student Government Association, which also included the Inter-Club Council (1965) and the House Plan Association (sometimes known as the Inter-Fraternity Council). The Evening Student Council was still a separate body.
Both these organizations were in existence when Pace College became Pace University in March 1973.
The last Student Handbook we have in the archives is from 1985–1986, and it still lists two separate organizations, the Day Student Government Association and the Evening Student Council. I don’t know when the “Day” was dropped from the name of the DSGA, but it probably occurred when the day and evening student government bodies were merged.
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Have you ever been whale watching? On Friday, June 8, you'll get the chance to meet one of nature's most majestic creatures—and work with NYC's Whale Research and Advocacy Organization, too!
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Daniella Pajonas ’19 is the co-founder and current co-president of the Queer Society, a queerleader for the LGBTQA and Social Justice Center, and an RA on the NYC Campus. With all that experience, she has plenty of advice for her fellow Setters!