SA composes long term GAF strategy

Tamora Rosenbaum

Continuity can be elusive and is often difficult to maintain. In an organization like SDSU’s Student Association, everyone has their own ideas on the best way to accomplish goals and on which projects deserve highest priority. SA student leaders change annually, which causes continuity to be even more difficult to achieve as new leaders with new priorities are sworn in each spring.

Student Association Vice President Anthony Sutton has helped devise a plan to create a document that will establish an efficient mode of communication between past, incoming and current SA leaders. The General Activity Fee (GAF) Strategy will outline the SA leaders’ intended plans for distributing the fund generated by the general activity fee that all students pay each semester.

“When you step into SA in general, there’s a pretty steep learning curve. This document will help student leaders worry a little less, give them some good background and good information in one place,” said Sutton, a senior political science and history major from Flandreau, S.D. Student Association Finance Chair Brian Gottlob says the new strategy will serve as a potential plan of action for the new leaders.

“New student leaders often don’t know what route to take, if we have an action plan they’ll know where to get started,” said Gottlob. “I’ve always heard that if you don’t have a goal, you don’t get anywhere. We’re trying to create a strategy that will make SDSU better for future students.”

The SA decides how best to use the GAF fund, portions of which are allocated to student organizations including clubs, athletics and intramurals as well as to major building projects such as an expansion of The Union or Wellness Center. Bigger projects such as expanding current buildings or erecting new ones cannot be completed in one term and often lose momentum as new SA leaders with their own agendas begin their term and old SA leaders are phased out.

“We have a list of projects; some things we think are realistic in the near future. It’s going to take the right people at the right time to complete them. With the strategy, we can identify [certain projects] as important for future student leaders to keep in mind,” Sutton said. “We can let them know we think this project is doable, important. When you have a plan you can always change it, but at least you’re talking about the same thing.”

VP of Student Affairs Marysz Rames has served as an advisor for the SA for approximately 10 years. She is excited about the strategy and the potential for long-term planning that it presents.

“New leaders will be able to build on the information that the previous leaders gathered. For example, they will be able to have a better understanding of student feedback collected on longer-term project [proposals],” Rames said. “My thought is that it would be shared with all students so they know what the SA leaders are thinking. I think this is really a move in the right direction.”

Increasing the transparency of the SA’s decision-making process concerning the GAF fund is another