Student government enacts change despite the challenges of hybrid learning

Hailey Decker

This fall semester was a big transition for the College of Lake County, as more and more students came back to campus for in-person learning. While some classes remained on zoom, many classes and events began to get back into the swing of things, which meant many clubs and organizations had to adapt to a changing format again. The Vice President of student government at CLC, Adeline Frederick, reflected on this past semester’s challenges for the club.

“It has been extremely challenging transitioning from online education to in-person for SGA,” Frederick said. “With a mix of losing almost all members because they graduated, changing advisors, and the fact that most students are still mostly online, trying to connect with students and convince them to join SGA has been a long fight this semester. We are hoping that as more classes become in-person, more students will be on campus, and they will want to participate more in the CLC community.”

Like many other clubs meeting on campus, certain changes still had to be made to accommodate members and CLC’s health guidelines. “We have adapted by creating an optional zoom link for students who don’t feel comfortable meeting in person but who still want to participate in SGA,” Frederick said. “We also make sure all members always wear their masks to all meetings to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and safe.”

SGA officers Katie Dutton, Adeline Frederick, Ian Riley, and Jack Jonota, Photo courtesy of Katie Dutton.

Student government faced a lot of challenges in the transition back to in-person events and meetings. “The biggest challenge would be getting students to participate in not only SGA but other clubs and events as well. It has been a slow start to this year coming back from COVID, but we think that as students get more accustomed to life as we once knew, there will be more student involvement,” said Frederick.

Although the semester was tough, the student government was still hard at work and made significant accomplishments. “I think the biggest improvement SGA has made this semester is getting more student representation at meetings. The past couple of years, I feel, have catered to a certain CLC student demographic. This year, we have members from all different backgrounds and ages that give input to help the entire CLC community. The more representation SGA has, the more we can improve everyone’s time at CLC,” Frederick said.

Frederick also shared a look into how the student government functioned this semester. “SGA has been changed from a club that organizes events to one that helps other clubs organize their events,” said Frederick. “For example, the Pride club is planning a drag show in December after finals. This is not an SGA event, but we have helped them organize it by reviewing their budget, informing them [of] the deadlines to request money, and loaning out some of SGA’s money to help put the show on. I am very excited for this event, and I have no doubt that Pride will put on a stellar show!”

Frederick also shared her personal experience in SGA and why she was drawn to participate. “I thought it would be a good way to connect with other students at CLC and be able to make a change within its community,” she said. “To become VP, I had to campaign for the position, which was difficult during the pandemic. The current president and I went to active club zoom meetings and talked to them about what they wanted to see changed for the upcoming year.”

SGA Meeting. Photo courtesy of Katie Dutton

Student government always welcomes new members, and interested students can get involved at their weekly meetings on Tuesdays from 2:30-4 in room C106. In addition to participating as student government members, the club also has the treasurer position available to anyone interested. It involves attending weekly and budget allocation meetings and managing SGA’s budget. For additional information, email President Katie Dutton at [email protected].