By: Steven Sola – 2nd Year – Environmental Health and Epidemiology
A lot of students, before coming to Rollins, were very involved during their undergraduate careers. I was one of those students. I tried my hand in a little of everything during undergrad, including being a part of my university’s Student Activities Board. Even though Rollins is a graduate school, we are still a part of the wider Emory University. As a result, we have many similarities with the undergraduate side of university life. This includes 19 student organizations (complete list at bottom of post) as well as our very own student government. The primary purpose of the Rollins Student Government Association (RSGA) is to act as an official liaison between the students and the administration and advocate for the students. This includes regular meetings with the deans of Rollins.
RSGA is composed of two groups: the Executive Board and the Legislative Board. The Executive Board is a group of 10 members, who are also part of the Legislative Board, which has a total of 24 members (i.e. 14 non-Executive Board members). Almost everyone is democratically chosen by the students every October/November during a one-week election period, and almost everyone serves a 1-year period, from January of their 1st year to December of their 2nd year. The “almost” is due to the fact that the Treasurer is a special position that is chosen by the current president of RSGA and the outgoing Treasurer. The new Treasurer serves from the Fall of their 1st year to the Fall of their 2nd year. This helps to ensure that when a new RSGA ascends, the most important person (the person who handles all the money) is experienced enough to help guide the new Board in making decisions.
The current members of RSGA
President: The President is the leader of RSGA, and takes a more behind-the-scenes approach to the running of RSGA. They meet with the deans of Rollins every week, as well as having meetings with other Presidents of other schools. They ensure that everything is running smoothly and that everyone is doing their jobs. They can propose new measures and initiatives, but they don’t organize any large activities directly.
Vice President: The Vice President (VP) is the President’s right-hand person. They meet regularly with the President and help the President with the smooth operation of RSGA. They are also in charge of the Rollins Corner Store, where students can buy Rollins gear without walking across the campus to the bookstore.
Treasurer: The Treasurer is arguably the most important person on RSGA, as their responsibility involves handling all the budgets for both RSGA and the student organizations. Without the Treasurer, there would be no money to do any activities at Rollins.
Secretary: The Secretary is in charge of taking the minutes at the meetings each week and contacting members every week for agenda items.
Communications Chair: The Communications Chair is in charge of updating the RSGA Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. They are in charge of sending out the weekly updates to all Rollins students every week, as well as creating posters and fliers for each event.
Social Chairs (3): The Social Chairs are the life of the party…literally. They are the planners of Convos on Tap, Fall Fling, and Second Year Sendoff. Convos on Tap happens 3 times a semester, usually during the late afternoon on Fridays. It’s a chance for Rollins Students to gather and talk outside of the formal academic setting. Fall Fling and Second Year Sendoff are semi-formal events (or formal, depending on the person) that are held off campus at night.
Student Activities Coordinators (2): The Student Activities Coordinators (SACs) are responsible for organizing events on campus, such as student panels, movies, discussions, and more. They work with other student organizations to create events for the student body. They are also in charge of Deans Lunches, where 12 students are invited to have lunch with the deans of Rollins.
Department Representatives (14): Each department at Rollins has two representatives as a part of RSGA. Department representatives have meetings every other week with RSGA and create events specifically for the students in their departments. These include mixers with other departments, bagel breakfasts (where all students in a department are invited to munch on bagels and coffee), and more. The international students also have two representatives as well, which is a relatively new position for RSGA, having been created only last year.
RSGA is a great way to get involved in Rollins. It greatly enhances your experience and helps you make valuable connections with other students and professionals in the public health realm. If you aren’t interested in any positions on RSGA, then you can always become a member of a student organization. There are plenty to choose from, although you also have the ability to charter your own organization if you want.
List of Rollins Student Organizations:
- Association of Black Public Health Professionals
- Career Development Ambassadors
- Emory Global Health Organization
- Emory Mental Health Alliance
- Emory Reproductive Health Association
- Georgia Public Health Association
- Health Organization for Latin America
- Humanitarian Emergency Response Team
- Jewish Students in Public Health
- Queer/Trans* Collaborative
- Rollins Association for Cancer Prevention
- Rollins Association for South Asian Health
- Rollins Environmental Health Action Committee
- Rollins LatinX Association
- Rollins mHealth Collaboration
- Rollins International Student Advisory Board
- Returned Peace Corps Community
- Students for Social Justice
- Student Outbreak Response Team