SGA president to push list of priorities in spring
By: LAUREN PRINGLE and HALLE SPARKS
Jan 06, 2020
SGA President Matthew Springs talks with Panther reporters, including Halle Sparks (pictured).
Claflin students can look forward to more initiatives from the Student Government Association in the spring semester, SGA President Matthew C. Springs said.
During a press conference with The Panther, Springs cited Sudexo’s to-go system and homecoming as successes during the fall. But he said there is more to do.
“I've planted a lot of seeds,” Springs said. “We have just yet to see the fruit grow.”
- Creation of study spaces known as “De-stessors.” They would be used as isolated spaces for students to study and seek help.
- Availability at no cost of feminine products in women’s public bathrooms. He said he has an implementation plan and sponsor assistance.
- Launching “Media Paw’d,” a podcast to serve as a new source of communication and information for students.
- Selling booster cards that will provide discounts for students at Orangeburg businesses.
Springs also plans “a big fight against gun violence,” an effort that began in December with a summit that also included South Carolina State University students.
“Gun violence isn't a matter of numbers but in the hearts,” he said. “We have police killing police, but we also have people killing people. … You can't live your college days forever, but you have to be alive to live them.”
Springs envisions several events and wants to have police come in and talk to students. His goal is a conversation throughout the campus to bring awareness to the problem.
The president said he hopes for successes such as Homecoming 2019.
“I think homecoming was big. I think we changed the dynamic of homecoming,” Springs said. “Homecoming is something we do for the students. We’re constantly working hard and diligently and trying to find ways to get the artist and get what the students want. And when we pulled it off and saw the students’ reaction, it was worth it.”
Springs said securing Megan Thee Stallion for the homecoming concert was big and involved work from the beginning of his term. The SGA team pushed and pushed to have Megan, he said.
“Everything about the concert and about this homecoming was new, to how many tickets we sold down to her performance and just having her as an artist. Just really showing that this is what the students wanted and that it was beneficial to the students and the culture,” he said.
“Some people were worried about her performance and appearance, but she is no different from any artist we have had in the past,” Springs said. “It’s all for the students, so we just had to show that it was within the students’ perspective and we ended up getting her.”
Springs said some of his accomplishments are due to Claflin President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack’s work ethic and leadership skills. The new university president is “the man for the job.”
“I have spoken with him before and his words inspired me, and I looked up to him. I love his leadership and he even inspired me to take the role as coming back to Claflin and possibly becoming the president for the university, and that speaks volumes. I wholeheartedly love Claflin University and he really shows the love for Claflin and Claflin pride.”
Springs, a senior political science major from Aiken who plans to pursue a law degree after graduation, wants to leave a legacy at Claflin.
“The legacy I want to leave behind for the next president would have to be inspiration and influence and really for the whole campus,” he said. “Even though this isn’t the president of the United States, this is still some form of democracy. I think one big thing that people forget in democracy is that the people’s voice matters and what you do matters. …
“It takes a village, so inspiring whoever will be next in the position to understand that you can’t do it by yourself, you will need help … so if I can leave that influence and let people know that they can get up and use their voice, I think that’s the most valuable thing I can leave behind,” Springs said.