The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s newly elected Student Government Association (SGA) president, Rosemary Ashley Chamberlain, is excited to lead the student body.
What is your major and classification?
I am a senior at UA Little Rock majoring in BS Biology with a minor in psychology. I am in the process of applying to the UAMS College of Medicine for the 2022 cycle.
What is your purpose or role as the president of SGA?
I prepare and submit to the Senate an annual strategic plan for my term, appoint student members of University Committees and SGA Administration, sign into legislation or veto legislation passed by the Senate. I am responsible for the administration of SGA programs and for the operation of the SGA office.
I will complete at least 18 service hours per week during the fall and spring semesters and serve on university committees of which the president is a member. I am the liaison between SGA and the alumni, faculty, administration, and committees of the university. It’s also my job to maintain relations with the Arkansas Association of Students and the American Student Government Association.
When did you become interested in SGA?
In the fall of 2019, I struggled finding non-traditional support as a student. I felt completely out of touch with the university and felt that I needed to advocate for the other half of our student population. In 2019, over 50% of our students were considered non-traditional students. I attended a meeting to share my concerns and ask for guidance. Not only did SGA listen, but they also opened a senator position in hopes that I would continue advocating for the student body.
What about SGA do you enjoy the most?
I love that we all share the same goal—Making UA Little Rock the best we can for our students. The impact of Covid has caused stress, withdrawal, and loss of connection, and we aim to promote our students’ successes. I am extremely passionate about advocating for those who need aspiration, and there isn’t a better place to achieve that goal than with SGA!
What are you looking forward to as SGA president?
Being appointed the highest position of the Student Government Association has ample opportunities to represent the student body. Like I said before, I take pride in serving our community and students here at UA Little Rock. My new position allows me a “seat at the table” within administrative committees, and I will use those experiences to not only learn to become a better leader but enhance the voice our student body desires.
How does SGA help students in general, and how do you plan to help students?
We aim to establish a student government that will effectively represent its constituents in the decision-making process of the University, provide needed services to the students, and further the interest of UA Little Rock and its students. To these ends we, the students of this University, do hereby establish this Constitution of the Student Government Association of the UA Little Rock. – preamble of Student Government Association at UA Little Rock Constitution.
Normalize student burnout and continue to provide resources and support.
Enforce the importance of campus security and safety measures.
It’s important for SGA to advocate and encourage students to prepare for their next steps upon graduation. Over the years, we have noticed that students have no idea what to do with their degrees once they have worked so hard to achieve them. This year, we plan to set up additional job fairs and mock interviews for students.
We plan to work with Admissions, student organization leadership and development, Greek Life, and the Student Experience Center to aid events that will engage students, improve campus experiences, and promote the continued growth of students.
Do you have any advice for students this year?
The greatest advice I can give students is to know you’re not alone. The concerns and struggles you are experiencing, others have/are too. It’s so easy to let the fear of the unknown prevent you from achieving your goals. Believe me, I know. But if it were easy… everyone would do it! You have already made the decision of not being easy just by being here.
I’d like to think we chose our own hard. Pushing through your doubts is HARD. Bettering yourself is HARD. Taking courses that challenge you is HARD. Trying to balance work, school, family, and still having a social life is HARD. But together we are #TrojanStrong. Find connections early and continue to step out of your comfort zone. It’s the only way you will grow; and always, always remember the impact of change is the hardest part.