The SGA first emerged in 1966 on Emory’s Atlanta campus. The organization was founded to serve as a vehicle through which students can have their concerns addressed by elected student representatives. Since its inception, the SGA has had an industrious and successful tenure. The organization has offered a legitimate voice to the University administration, championing students’ interests, and partially funding various speaking events and campus structures. For example, the SGA secured funding for lights on the lower fields, new equipment in the WoodPEC, and a new surface and drainage for McDonough field.
Similar to the United States Government, the SGA is composed of three separate and distinct branches, which work cooperatively but operate independently.
The SGA has established 12 Divisional Council and 4 University-Wide Organizations, each of which serve specific constituency based on career paths or the entire University, respectively. Each University student pays the SGA $89.00 in Student Activity Fee (SAF). The Board of Trustees empowers the SGA exclusively to set, collect, and distribute the SAF. After the fee is collected, the money is then distributed to the SGA’s 12 Divisional Councils, based on a percentage fixed by the SGA through the Fee Spilt Bylaw. After each Divisional Council receives a portion of the SAF, the money is divided among the various student organizations within that Divisional Council. The amount each organization receives is determined during the university-wide budgeting process, which takes place in the spring semester of each year. While each divisional council (such as the College Council) receives some fiscal autonomy from the SGA, the SGA is responsible for approving all financial transactions from the SAF. Additionally, all Divisional Councils must adhere to the various SGA governing documents.