Harold Crawford, Staff Writer

Rachel Thompson, sophomore, undeclared, joined the Student Government Association in the fall as an SGA Senator at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Thompson said, “I was a freshman, I really didn’t know too much about events that were going on here on campus.”

Thompson missed the election process for the Senate in the spring, so she filled an open position in the fall. “Sean Burkett, the President of SGA, sent out an email. He was saying that he needed senators. I sent in an application.” Thompson was notified that she was awarded the position.

Thompson’s position took a little getting used to. She said, “I really did not know too much about politics, plus I was never involved in any clubs in high school. I was not used to that kind of a responsibility or commitment. I was kind of overwhelmed about my senate and committee duties in the beginning trying to understand what a committee was, and learning the parliamentary jargon was a challenge.”

Thompson sits on the Recruitment, Admissions, Retention, and Student Financial Aid Committee and the Assessment of Educational Outcomes Committee as an SGA Senator.

After learning the ropes in the fall semester, Thompson is ready to get to work in the spring semester. She said, “I feel like I definitely understand my role a lot better. I am understanding how I can make an impact on SGA. I think my role is more officially defined for me. Of course, I’m still learning going to the different committee meetings and going to the university committee assembly meetings. They all help me learn more.”

One more committee that Thompson serves on is an internal committee to restructure SGA. The numerous meetings and research done last semester and this semester have proved enlightening to Thompson. She said, “I know more about politics and the U.S. Constitution now. I understand more about how the Constitution plays a role in what we want SGA to become. I have a lot more knowledge about how our government is run.”

She continued, “I asked so many questions during restructure meetings, because I just did not know what was being said. I love being on restructure.”

The SGA Restructure committee is working to have a draft of the revised constitution done by February. An open forum was held February 2 in the Millennium Student Center Room 313 at 2 p.m.

Thompson is looking forward to the campaign process in the spring to run again as an SGA Senator. She said, “I have to get ready to start campaigning for next election in March. I’m not really sure about the process in the future, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Thompson is working on her undergraduate degree at UMSL. She said, “I’m undecided right now; even though I like politics, I don’t wish to major in political science. I want to double major in French.”

While her future career plans might be undecided right now, Thompson is sure of one thing. “I really want to have an impact,” she said. “I hope I can use skills that I learned in SGA to help people who don’t have a voice.”

Thompson continued, “I loved that SGA gave me the ability to have my voice be heard on campus and to be a voice for others. I am excited to help make the necessary changes to improve the lives of UMSL’s community.”

Rachel left a message for the future students of UMSL. She said, “For the incoming freshmen, you can do it. We need the younger generation, because you’re the future of UMSL.”