Student governance is the means by which institutions in higher education are formally organized and managed. The role of the student government is to represent fellow students by voicing their thoughts to the school/institution’s administration.
At ALA, our student government is made up of 22 members that act as the medium of communication between the student body and the administration. Our job is to make sure that the students and administration are in communication and each party understands the concerns and ensures that everyone is on the same page. The chairs of the government meet weekly with the Deans of the Academy to discuss issues expressed by the student body and come up with solutions to the problems students may be facing, as well as discuss any potential complaints and frustrations.
We are currently working on drafting a modus operandi which will serve as the guiding book for all positions of student leadership at ALA. The modus operandi will be comprised of guidelines on how different positions will administer their roles and will also have a clause on rules and their implementation on the campus. An online platform is also under construction, through which students will report issues, complaints, and feedback. This will help us gather information quicker and in a way that will enable us to function as a unit that better serves our fellow students.
Without the student government, an institution like ALA would have asymmetric information being exchanged between the students and the administration; and when the students don’t trust the government, which would result in consistent problems. Therefore, the student government has a crucial role in establishing trust between the students, itself and the administration.
There are also key lessons that are learnt through being part of a student government such as:
- Social Skills
- Professional experience
- Interpersonal skills
- Leadership Skills
- Organization and Management Skills
One also forms great friendships through shared interests. It is also fun – challenging at times, but we enjoy what we do and are proud to be the body that ensures the smooth operation of the Academy.
About the author: Ibrahim is a young leader in the Class of 2014, from Kampala, Uganda. He is the current Chairman of ALA’s Student Government. You can read his profile here.