The Student Government Association (SGA) has come up with a new initiative, SMART goals, where SGA members come up with problems they want to change on campus and address them.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based, according to SGA Senate Speaker and Business Senator, Vinay Trambadia, a senior finance and IT major.
Trambadia said that SMART goals were introduced at SGA training before the fall semester last year. SGA President Christina Simon introduced the initiative.
It was stated at the Jan. 22 SGA meeting that Trambadia and Diplomacy Senator Jacob Abel will be publishing the committee SMART goals. Abel could not be reached for a comment.
Trambadia wrote in an email that Simon and Vice President Violet Reed “explained the importance of creating SMART goals so that we have some clarity in what changes we would like to see.”
Trambadia said that when the SMART goals were introduced last year, the SGA members created goals for the first 56 days of school. Since then, SGA members have made new goals, which are now their current SMART goals for this semester.
“The creation of the SMART goals was to provide some clarity to ourselves as well as to create some transparency between SGA and the student body,” he said. “The goals help us focus on what issues we would like to see changed on campus.”
Trambadia gave an example of one of the problems the Finance committee is attempting to fix through this initiative. He said the committee’s goal “is to reach out to clubs and find out how well the 40-20 formula for club budgets is working out.”
The 40-20 formula for club budgets says that clubs will receive 40 percent of how much they made from fundraising the previous year,and 20 percent of how much money they spent the previous year, he said.
Trambadia added that the goal of the Public Relations committee is to release a newsletter every two months.
Arts and Science Senator and Academic Affairs Committee Chairman Robert Serrano, a senior political science and philosophy major, discussed the initiative.
“SGA is attempting to create a better system of achieving goals meant to better the school community,” Serrano wrote in an email. “SMART goals serve as a way to refine the objectives that each committee seeks to accomplish.”
He said that each SGA committee has their own SMART goal that is intended to address a particular issue.
Serrano’s committee, Academic Affairs, has set their SMART goal for the semester, he said. Their goal “refers to the initiative that Academic Affairs had last semester in regards to addressing the students’ concerns.”
He said, “We desire to maintain a constant communication and update about the Modern Language Department.” Serrano explained that a senator or an ad hoc will meet with Dr. DongDong Chen, chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, or Dr. Peter Shoemaker, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, at least once a week.
“The importance of this is that many students have raised concerns about the modern languages in regards to curriculum and difficulties of class scheduling from schools that are not in the College of Arts and Science[s],” Serrano said.
The Setonian previously reported on this concern of Serrano’s and other members of the Academic Affairs Committee who were starting an initiative to better standardize SHU’s language curriculum.
“These SMART goals do not encompass all current initiatives but rather are a way to focus broad goals,” he added. He provided the example that his committee has several initiatives they want to undertake this semester.
Trambadia said that more information about the SMART goals created by each committee and school will soon be released on the SGA website.
“I hope that all the goals are achieved by the end of our terms,” Trambadia said. “Creating SMART goals is a great idea, but I hope over the next few years we can develop and innovate them more and make them ‘smarter.’”
Samantha Todd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.