WASHINGTON, DC – The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) is pleased to welcome the Jesuit Student Government Alliance (JSGA) into its network of conferences and affinity groups. The group consists of the presidents of all 28 student governments on Jesuit college and university campuses across the United States, as well as AJCU’s associate member institution, St. John’s College in Belize.
Plans for the JSGA have been in development for several years, first taking root during informal gatherings at the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference (NJSLC). The NJSLC is an annual summer conference for Jesuit student leaders supported by JASPA, the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators. JASPA is a conference within the AJCU network that has supported the professional development of student affairs administrators at Jesuit colleges and universities since its founding in 1954.
After this year’s NJSLC at Le Moyne College, two co-chairs were elected to lead the JSGA during the 2018-19 academic year: Katlyn Martin of Saint Louis University and Patrick Marta of Creighton University. Marta said, “The creation of the Jesuit Student Government Alliance provides promise for greater collective impact, according to our shared Jesuit mission. We are immensely appreciative of the opportunity to strengthen our inter-campus relationships and amplify students’ voices on the national stage. We believe this unification may cultivate greater progress in both our individual and national communities.”
Through their work with the JSGA, Marta and Martin seek to address issues of importance and concern to students on Jesuit campuses across the country. During the 2017-18 academic year, Jesuit student government presidents issued a joint statement on DACA that expressed their solidarity with and support for DACA students. Martin anticipates continued social action from the JSGA on DACA as well as other issues including voter engagement and sustainability. She said, “Our main goals for the next few years are to solidify communication between our student governments to ensure we can best advocate on behalf of our respective student bodies and the larger Jesuit community. Through JSGA, we hope to establish an identity for the larger community of students attending Jesuit institutions and to grow in leadership throughout our time in student government.”
Rev. Michael J. Sheeran, S.J., president of AJCU, expressed his support for the JSGA. He said, “We are delighted to welcome and formally recognize the Jesuit Student Government Alliance as a member of the AJCU network. Our students are clearly committed to supporting the mission of our institutions, and by working together, we are confident that they will help each other in their roles as student leaders, and give voice to the many issues facing college students today.”