In Appreciation of Student Government
Dear Loyola Community,
As we near the end of the Spring 2021 semester in a year when we have been largely remote, I want to highlight some of the important accomplishments of the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC) and express my gratitude for their work across the University and community.
A vital role that SGLC holds is ensuring that the lines of communication between students and administration remain active. SGLC advises administrators on communicating important information to students and relays information about student experiences and concerns. This was especially important this academic year in which our world managed through a pandemic. SGLC worked with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) and the Dean of Students to survey 1,700 students on issues of accessibility, mental health and wellness, dining services, civic engagement, and support for Black students.
As the official governance voice of the undergraduate student body, SGLC’s productive engagement this year has contributed to positive outcomes on a number of fronts. SGLC were instrumental in either working with other groups and units to bring a student voice to policy questions and initiated or implemented a number of the outcomes highlighted below:
- Worked with other student groups such as the Black Cultural Center (BCC), championed enhanced mental health and wellness services, leading to increased use of diverse mental health providers embedded in many campus departments as well as the Wellness Center and Student Development.
- Advocated for realignment in how the university discounts tuition for some professions. They made suggestions for new educational partnerships, and the University made a decision to eliminate a funded tuition arrangement with the Chicago Police Department.
- Developed a partnership with the Athletic Department to form the Rambler Alliance for Equity, which strives for unity and racial justice.
- Championed the development of American Sign Language courses that count toward the foreign language requirement for graduation.
- Promoted a secondary crime alert system to address student concerns about communication around crimes proximate to our campuses.
- Were at the forefront of making Loyola a tobacco, smoke, and vape-free campus. In February 2021, the University Senate passed a resolution supporting this policy, joining more than 2,300 other campuses nationwide that are smoke-free.
For a complete overview of the group's accomplishments this year, please view SGLC's 2020-2021 Organizational Goals - End of Year Report.
SGLC led advisory groups of undergraduate and graduate students that greatly informed our return to campus and these groups will continue to inform the fall semester. SGLC leaders participated in important webinars during the COVID pandemic. They have engaged and will continue to engage with the Board of Trustees in discussions around socially responsible investing.
I am grateful for the regular, respectful, honest, and thoughtful dialogue with SGLC leadership. Even when we held different views and perspectives on a particular issue, the lines of communication have been open and professional, centered on the shared goal of a stronger Loyola. I have been inspired by the ways we have found to collaborate, share information, and keep moving and keep learning. That spirit of collaboration defines our community.
I share this to thank the members of SGLC for their care and concern for our students and our community, to highlight the impact they can have, and to encourage students to make a difference by getting involved. We believe that Loyola’s student government is one of the strongest in the country and look forward to continued productive engagement.
Yours in Loyola,
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD