Vin Recca for Middlebury College SGA President 2011

Reimagining our SGA

 Folks, Let's take a second to imagine...

...the problems of today; the problems of tomorrow; what is possible and appropriate for student government.

If we want to make student governance at Middlebury more effective, we need to reimagine the SGA's mission, scope and limitations. I believe that we first need to rethink our goals and expectations for the SGA. After debating problems and issuing resolutions, the government needs to follow through and actively advocate for those positions. If elected, I will take on my responsibilities as Negotiator-in-Chief and focus on pushing those policies and proposals that are of the greatest importance to students in talks with the administration, including:
  • Pass/Fail classes to fulfill distribution requirements and major/minor degree requirements
  • Support for new programs in Hindi, Swahili, and Africana Studies, including establishment and funding of appropriate cultural organizations 
  • Curriculum reform to correct the Eurocentric bias of our current civilization requirements
  • Academic credit reform to recognize the substantial extra burden of lab/drill sessions and to incentivize innovative academic programming with 1/2 credit courses
  • Elimination of drop period limitations to give students the freedom to manage their course loads
  • Internal reforms to streamline the SGA bureaucracy, focusing on facilitating programming through deregulation and by connecting individual Finance Committee members with organizations to encourage more direct communication
  • Greater protections from discrimination for all students, regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, and other identities
In addition to the above policy goals, I believe the SGA should focus on two large initiatives that will have a direct impact on the lives of current and future MiddKids. The first is to establish Panther, Incorporated, a student-run SGA-chartered corporation. The second is to invest a substantial portion of our reserves in an endowment for student programming.

Panther, Inc (PINC)

  • Student-run, SGA-chartered, profit seeking corporation
  • Primary goal: to provide students with services not currently offered by the market in town
  • Not intended to directly compete with town businesses, will seek to form "public-private" partnerships where possible
  • More jobs for all students at a variety of pay and skill levels
  • Opportunities for hands-on experience in managing a for-profit firm
  • Where possible, foster town development by connecting the economic power of 2500 college kids with area businesses

The Legacy Fund

  • Invest $250,000 from our reserves in an endowment for future Middkids
  • Allocated between professional fund managers and, if they agree, the Student Investment Committee (SIC)
  • Reduce reserves to sustainable levels
  • Ensure consistent levels of social programming for future generations of Middkids
  • Provide for the gradual reduction in the Student Activity Fee
  • Encourage community participation and alumni donations to a restricted endowment