SGA searches for new sponsor


As candidates prepared for the student government election, most were unaware that SGA sponsor Nancy Bramlett will not be the group’s sponsor next year.

Although this was Bramlett’s first year running SGA, she had experience being the sponsor at Buchholz High School in Gainesville. However, she said the school’s academic focus made it difficult to plan new activities with SGA.

“It’s been very challenging,” she said. “West Shore has a very different climate of a school than where I was. So some of those things I was not able to do. I wanted to do a lot more community service activities. I wanted dress-up days in the spring. And in the fall, I wanted to do kind of bonding activities with the students here, those sort of things.”

In addition, Bramlett said being both a teacher and sponsor has added more to her plate than she expected.

“I teach all AP classes all day,” she said. “So especially this time of the year was a lot, like too much. [Getting] my Capstone kids’ presentations, [getting] the presentations changed to senior boards, getting their 5,000-word essays, preparing my Lit kids for their exam, planning all of Teacher Appreciation, running student government elections, doing stuff like trying to get donations for a scholarship — all of that came down to the last six weeks.”

Many of the responsibilities that were meant for the officers fell onto Bramlett.

“I think there needs to be a lot more continuity getting even all my officers to meet,” she said. “I think I probably had two meetings over the course of the year where all my officers actually showed up. Those are just my officers. That’s not even the council.

“So they wouldn’t know what was going on. You know, we instituted pep rallies again this year, so that fell to us as well. And they wouldn’t show up and then they would come and go ‘oh, well, we need to do this for the pep rally.’ I’m like, ‘We’re not even doing that for the pep rally but you don’t know that because you didn’t come to the meeting.’ So that was difficult.”

Freshman Meghana Geddam, SGA’s communications officer, said having meetings after school created a challenge for her.

“In my opinion, I could not get to like half of the meetings because I did not have a ride, or my parents had to work early in the morning,” Geddam said. “And I couldn’t go to school way early, like [7:45 a.m.]. I think two of us couldn’t make it to all the meetings because we couldn’t have a ride and it’s hard, you know, to schedule home life and [things] like that. And I feel like in my opinion, we should make the meetings after school so that it’s easier for all of us.” 

This problem has been addressed by requiring candidates to be rising sophomores or above.

Another issue had to do with the club’s finances. Bramlett said the previous sponsor left her with minimal funds, which meant most of the money for events had to come out of pocket.

“This year, it’s been a little crazy because the media specialist, apparently she left abruptly and no one knew,” Geddam said. “So all of SGA’s money was unaccounted for. And we have the list of how much money each club has, and most have zero money because no one kept track with organizing that. I hope next year is gonna be better.”

Despite the challenges that some members faced, senior Warrick Floyd, SGA’s vice president, said he enjoyed his experience.

“The responsibilities were about on par with what I expected, considering that I had faced very similar experiences back in middle school in terms of planning big events — in my middle school year I had to help plan the blue ribbon ceremony — and the dances,” Floyd said. “Only this time it was on a bigger scale and budget was more of an enigma.”

Although he will graduate this year, Floyd had suggestions for the next student body and administration.

“I hope that the sense of the importance [of] planning is not lost, as some other sponsors and clubs do not realize how important it is to plan things out ahead of time,” he said. “I hope that the dates for the pep rallies are communicated more, especially with which student government is planning them, and which grades are attending, as I felt that administration simply threw them at the student government with no regard for notice ahead of time.”

As the administration searches for a replacement, Bramlett said to keep in mind that it’s a “thankless position.” 

“Oh, I’m not doing this again,” Bramlett said. “I don’t know [who the next sponsor will be.] Nobody is like, jumping to take this over. There’s a lot of things that I like about being sponsor, but it is definitely a lot more stressful and a lot more work and a lot different than how I envisioned it being.”

By Rhea Sinha