MCLA's Student Government Association Celebrates 100th Anniversary


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). The SGA not only encourages students to develop leadership skills; its members are responsible for mandating and funding every single club, organization, and council on campus.

Made up of a variety of students, the SGA meets regularly to discuss how they can uphold a well-balanced school through clubs and campus-wide activities. The elected board determines how much money each club receives, encourages educational goals throughout the semester and reaches out to the North Adams community.

One example is the annual Sam Gomez Classic Road Race, facilitated by the SGA to raise money for organizations in the Northern Berkshire area. The first race was held in 1978 to benefit the community that surrounds MCLA and to honor the late Gomez, who taught philosophy and was the cross country coach at the College from 1970 to the early '90s.

Each year, the race benefits a different group, project or individual. The money raised at this year's event went to the Church Outreach Program and the Haiti Plunge Project. The race was held on Sunday, Oct. 17, when nearly $1,600 was raised.

Through the SGA, students learn how to understand other people and the value of community and cooperation. Katie Collins '11 said that she has learned much from her participation in the SGA - from how to balance a large budget and deal with internal conflict to how to work with both small and large groups.

"Whether I continue on my track of a science career or go into student affairs, I know the skills I have learned from SGA and the people in it have made me prepared to face anything in my future," Collins said.

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