How the Student Association Dealt with COVID-19
By Chilekasi Adele
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It’s been a whirlwind year for Syracuse University’s Student Association — one filled with elections, a new constitution, and adapting to COVID-19.
SA normally had its meetings in Maxwell Auditorium. This year has changed that. SA went from a hybrid model to fully online late in the first semester. They kept the fully online model until just this past Monday — holding a hybrid meeting in Huntington Beard Crouse Hall’s Kittredge Auditorium.
Parliamentarian Josh Shub-Seltzer says the concept of online meetings was so foreign, SA had to catch up.
“We actually had to change our rules to allow us to do zoom meetings, because before COVID, we weren’t allowed to do business electronically, it had to be in person,” said Shub-Seltzer.
When SA was forced to move fully online because of the school-wide COVID outbreak in November, Outgoing SA President Justine Hastings says it was actually better for the organization than the hybrid meetings they’d been having previously.
“With the hybrid model, it was sometimes difficult, either for presentations or elections to kind of all be on the same page, and like look at a screen. It just, we found that when we switched to fully virtual that, ironically, the connections were, more intimate.”
SA finished its 64th Legislative Session on Monday.
Despite the fact that only 10.2% of the student body voted in this year’s presidential election, President-Elect David Bruen said he’s optimistic about the organization’s future.
“I think we’re gonna see a huge spike in engagement this fall and next spring,” said Bruen.
SA will change again next year — Bruen said he plans to reimagine how SU’s student government works. The organization is planning to host fully in-person meetings next semester.