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SGA hosted state’s AFICU 2014 conference

AFICU logoStetson’s Student Government Association hosted the 2014 conference of the Academy of Florida Independent Colleges and Universities (AFICU), Feb. 7-9. Florida’s oldest private university provided an excellent venue for student leaders across the state to collaborate and improve the state of their universities.

“The purpose of this conference is for SGAs from different private and independent colleges and universities from Florida to come together,” said Joseph Dudley, Stetson’s SGA president. “This conference gave us the opportunity to discuss projects, foster communication and find solutions that we, as SGA leaders, face on our own individual campuses,” Dudley said.

This year’s AFICU conference theme was “Synergy” and building a connection between the student body and the administration. Co-Director of Intercollegiate Relations Michael Galvez expanded on the importance of the theme.

“Synergize, in the context of this year’s AFICU Leadership Conference, means three things: communication, collaboration and a sense of community,” Galvez stated.

Currently, 31 private and independent institutional SGA committees are members of the AFICU committee. Each registered institution serves a vital role in strengthening the role of student government organizations.

“With the help of delegations of various institutions attending, we spoke our minds regarding local and national issues that plague our campuses,” Galvez explained. “We came up with useful ideas for the betterment of all involved, and united our efforts to ensure the future of one cohesive and influential Academy that can one day effectively implement the united student voice of 31 institutions. That is Synergy.”

The Academy was founded in 2007 at Stetson University. Originally known as the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida Student Alliance, the committee reformed and renamed itself as the AFICU to evaluate, unite and improve the purpose and vision of student governments. Since 2007, Stetson has played an important role in the AFICU in strengthening student governments in the private and independent institutions throughout the state.

Galvez reflected on the AFICU conference returning to the campus where it all began.

“As AFICU returned home to the place it was born this month, the Stetson University Student Government Association remains committed to closing the gaps, mending our bridges, and ensuring the restoration of bonds that connect AFICU institutions together in one vision,” Galvez said.

Stetson’s SGA leaders were excited to welcome student governments from across Florida. They plan to work with other student governments to improve the role of student governments representing and serving their own campus communities.

“We were excited to host this year,” SGA Vice President Alyssa Collins said. “We hope that we created a stronger foundation for the conference, making it bigger and better,” she stated.

by Maurie Murray