Undergraduate Executive Review

Undergraduate Executive Review

Yellow Jackets, 

As 2020 is (finally) coming to a close, we want to take a moment and thank you for all of your hard work in making this Fall semester a success. You make Georgia Tech better and we appreciate all of your hard work in collectively keeping our community safe! Congratulations to all of our seniors that just celebrated graduation! 

Attached you will find the Undergraduate Student Government Association Executive Review for the Summer and Fall 2020 Semesters. We encourage you to take a few moments to review our advocacy efforts and reach out tosga@gatech.edu with questions or areas of interest that we can be of any assistance with. You can also clickhereto view the document. As always, at any time you can go tohttps://www.sga.gatech.edu/ to view all of SGA’s resources and communications. 

From all of us here at SGA, we wish you a refreshing winter break and happy holidays! 

In Progress and Service,

Undergraduate Student Government Association

SGA & GTIA Letter to Senators Loeffler and Perdue

Dear Senators Perdue and Loeffler,

We are writing to express our concern regarding the September 25, 2020 rule proposed by the Department of Homeland Security that would arbitrarily limit international student visa lengths and place additional restrictions on student visas based on an individual’s country of origin. These changes in policy place additional burdens on students and universities, further disincentivizing prospective international students from attending U.S. institutions of higher education. International students are a critical part of colleges and universities across the country, and this proposed rule would undermine our nation’s leadership in higher education and research. With 25% of Georgia Tech’s entire student body made up of international students this proposed change would have a drastic negative impact on Georgia Tech, disproportionately impacting the graduate population which has 40% international students from over 100 different countries.

Currently, most international student visas are valid for the duration of status, which allows international students to remain in the United States if they remain enrolled in an institution of higher education while abiding by rules relevant to their immigration status. This proven system provides flexibility for both four-year degrees and doctoral programs that may require additional time to complete.

The proposed rule replaces this longstanding policy with a fixed, four-year visa. This would be further reduced to just two years for students who were born in Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria, regardless of their citizenship, as well as citizens of those countries.  Georgia Tech’s Fall 2015 undergraduate cohort had a 50.7% four year graduation rate which went up to 88.8% after 5 years. From these statistics, it is clear that this fixed, four-year visa would disincentivize international students from attending undergraduate programs at Georgia Tech and place undue stress on these students to finish degree programs in a shorter length of time than they are traditionally completed in. Additionally, doctoral students who teach and/or provide nationally and internationally recognized research are in degree programs of longer lengths, disproportionately impacted by these terms with a national average time to complete a PhD program being between 5 and 6 years. This rule uses a flawed methodology to limit citizens of countries with certain visa overstay rates, disproportionately impacting students from countries that send smaller numbers of international students. Furthermore, the proposed rule would arbitrarily limit the number of times students can change programs at the same degree level and impose intrusive mandates that would allow Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to arbitrarily make determinations traditionally left to academic institutions.

These proposed changes, if enacted, would place at risk the academic careers of the over 13,000 international students attending the University System of Georgia’s institutes of higher education each year. These students play a fundamental role in our state’s academic and campus life. Their contributions are critical to maintaining the United States’ leadership in STEM fields and cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence. These rules would also threaten the hundreds of thousands of jobs supported by international students, as well as the tens of billions of dollars in economic activity that these students facilitate each year.

International students remain a key part of the higher education ecosystem in the state of Georgia and in our country. They enrich the higher education experience for all students and provide meaningful contributions to our country. The proposed rule places needless restrictions on these students and fundamentally threatens a cornerstone of our nation’s higher education system. With this in mind, we urge you to support rescinding the changes to the duration of status of F, J, and I visa holders and maintain the current duration of status policy.

We must ensure that Georgia Tech, the state of Georgia, and the United States welcomes and fosters international students who are vital to our economy and continue to provide meaningful contributions to research, culture, academic life, and our country.

Thank you for your consideration and service to our state and country.

Brielle Lonsberry
Undergraduate Student Body President

Lea Harris
Graduate Student Body President

Aarushi Khajuria
Georgia Tech International Ambassadors President

SGA Advocacy Update

Over the past few weeks, the Georgia Tech Student Government Association has been fiercely advocating for the betterment of the student body. This message contains an update on some of the issues we’ve been fighting for.


  • SGA Town Hall
  • Academic Advocacy Efforts for Fall 2020
  • Election Day & On-Campus Precinct
  • Title IX Update
  • Campus Service Advocacy Updates
  • Results of SGA Return to Campus Survey
  • Black Lives Matter Update
  • International Student Advocacy
  • LBGTQIA+ Advocacy


The Georgia Tech Student Government Association will be hosting a student town hall on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The panelists will include a few members of SGA leadership, as well as leadership from Georgia Tech International Ambassadors and the Residence Hall Association. Click here to join the BlueJeans event.

SGA is in the process of collecting questions about Georgia Tech’s return to campus this fall so that we can gather answers to as many as we possibly can. Click here to submit a question to us (this form will be open until Wednesday). We will also be accepting live questions through the Q&A feature on BlueJeans events.

We want to use this time to let you know what we’ve been working on in regards to our advocacy efforts, as well as provide answers about the fall and what it will look like. This will also be a time for you to voice concerns so that we can better understand student sentiment. We would love to see you this Wednesday!  As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at covid19@sga.gatech.edu.


As part of our commitment to providing up-to-date information about the status of Georgia Tech’s Return to Campus this fall, SGA has created areas on our website where students can view updates on what campus will look like this fall. The Fall 2020 Return to Campus Guidebook has information on everything from testing to campus services and is available here.

In preparation for Wednesday’s Town Hall, SGA has collected over 100 questions from the student body. Many of these questions will be answered during the event, and immediately following, all of the questions we received will be uploaded to the SGA Fall 2020 FAQs page, located here. NOTE: This page will not go live until 8:30 PM on July 22, 2020.


Over the summer, SGA leadership has been working to ensure every student has a safe and successful academic environment. As changes have been released by Georgia Tech and the University System of Georgia, SGA has continued to voice student opinions and concerns in an effort to make sure everyone is heard. Here are some of our academic updates:

  • SGA leadership has drafted a letter to the Board of Regents outlining in the strongest possible terms the need for online options for every Georgia Tech student. This letter is undergoing additional revisions and Student Body Presidents at other University System of Georgia schools will be offered a chance to join this letter. As soon as final revisions are complete, this letter will be shared with the Georgia Tech student body.
  • SGA has continued to advocate for an attendance leniency policy for students and faculty. The SGA Undergraduate President and VP of Academic Affairs have drafted an updated attendance faculty/student expectations document. We will continue to push for this to be implemented and will provide updates to the student body.
  • SGA successfully helped advocate to move Phase II registration to August 1st, as well as for increased remote course options and flexibility in our course modes.
  • Beyond COVID-19 measures, SGA Academics is looking forward to continuing to work on institutionalizing mini-mester courses and revitalizing APPH/health course curriculum.


On July 14, the Faculty Executive Board passed a motion brought forth by representatives from SGA, requesting that teaching faculty provide academic consideration for student voters on November 3, Election Day. The motion requested that for Election Day, faculty consider moving lectures to an asynchronous format, avoid scheduling in-class quizzes, tests, or assessments, and make lecture recordings available for students unable to attend class that day. The Faculty Executive Board passed the motion, clarifying that classes will still be in session November 3. Faculty are strongly encouraged to consider making these modifications in order to give Georgia Tech students ample opportunity to participate in the election.

SGA will continue working with the Faculty Executive Board and Institute Standing Committees with the goal of creating a policy that sustains this efforts for election days to come.


After Georgia Tech Athletics took the incredible step of securing an election-day polling place at McCamish Pavilion, SGA met with the Fulton County Deputy Elections Chief to make arrangements to fully staff the polling place with students. We received approval for Georgia Tech’s first fully student-staffed polling place. Unfortunately, Georgia Tech administration made an executive decision to cancel the August 11th Runoff Election polling place on the Georgia Tech campus, citing health concerns regarding hosting an election while students are moving on campus. SGA is advocating strongly to ensure Georgia Tech will host a November 3rd general election polling place and early voting location, both fully staffed by students. SGA continues to serve on the campus-wide Voter Engagement Steering Committee, developing campaigns to ensure a high Georgia Tech turnout this Fall.


Following the United States Department of Education’s significant changes to the Title IX sexual assault protocol, Georgia Tech SGA partnered with the University of Georgia SGA to write a letter to the University System of Georgia (USG) regarding the reforms which we view as harmful for survivors in certain key ways. Our letter urges USG to rise above the bar regarding the treatment of survivors, which has been lowered by the Department of Education, and to establish guidelines for Title IX complaints which will prioritize the mental wellbeing and health of survivors as well as their ability to receive an equitable education at Georgia Tech.

We sent this letter to our USG peer institutions and have received signatures from Columbus State University, Dalton State College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia College & State University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia State University, and Valdosta State University. We will be meeting with USG in the future to ensure student concerns take priority in the long process of developing robust USG guidelines based on the Department of Education’s reforms. To read our letter to USG, click here.


At a glance, SGA has worked to build trust and a firm communication network to assist in directly connecting student concerns with decision-makers.

We understand that may not sound very illustrious, but it’s a massive step towards improving the quality of student input received in important decisions that impact the daily life of each student. This fall, we will face unpredictable and time-sensitive issues that will require sharp communication, honest conversations, and advocacy-based decision making. SGA is ready to assist in these forthcoming efforts, and we look forward to the difficult and necessary discussions that will be had for the foreseeable future.

More substantively, here is a progress update on items in Campus Services that have either resulted from student advocacy or internal decision-making within Campus Services for the fall:

Completed Items

  • Meal swipes are now allowed at all food truck vendors at Georgia Tech.
  • The Department of Housing and Residence Life has agreed to improve the regularity of direct communication to residents.
  • SGA has set up regular meetings with Housing & Residence Life, Student Center, CRC, Dining Services, and Stamps.

In Progress Items

  • We are currently working with student groups and the Department of Housing and Residence life to advocate for no contract cancellation fees. Georgia Tech has sent three proposals for removing housing contract cancellation fees to the University System of Georgia. USG is currently reviewing those proposals.
  • SGA is continuing to advocate for international student housing support.
  • We are working with the Department of Campus Services to provide general support for returning students this Fall.
  • SGA is finalizing a proposal for a meal swipe semesterly donation initiative.
  • We are working with the Department of Campus Services to improve the quality of empathetic communication from all Campus Services’ departments
  • The CRC has taken over activity spaces in residence halls. SGA is working to ensure student input is provided for renovations to these spaces.
  • SGA is advocating for improved meal plan flexibility.
  • We are working with the Department of Parking and Transportation to ensure an increased level of transportation services is provided during the Fall semester.
  • The Department of Campus Services is working to provide general support for student-led advocacy groups.

Change comes from many places, but change comes most swiftly when students speak vocally about what works and what doesn’t work. Thank you to every student who has reached out to us over the past few months to share concerns, ideas, and ask questions. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time now or in the future regarding your ideas, thoughts, and concerns regarding Campus Services. Being able to point directly to your words and your voice helps us to better advocate for change. 

Lastly, in case you’re wondering what departments fall under Campus Services, here’s the list in brief: Dining Services, Buzzcard Center, Housing & Residence Life, Stamps, Georgia Tech Bookstore, Parking & Transportation, Student Center, and Campus Recreation Center.


On June 15th, SGA distributed a Return to Class survey to all Georgia Tech students. Over a two week period, we received 4,071 responses. Here are a few of the survey highlights:

  • 32% of students said they would opt-out of on-campus instruction.
  • 29% of students said they were uncomfortable or extremely uncomfortable returning to on-campus instruction in the Fall.
  • 48% of students said they would live in on-campus housing in the Fall
  • 80% of students said they were likely or extremely likely to wear a mask on campus, but only 40% indicated they believed their peers were likely or extremely likely to wear one.
  • The top three concerns for returning to on-campus instruction were lack of social distancing, instructional space not being disinfecting, and inconsistent PPE usage.
  • Many students emphasized the importance of having a remote/online/distance learning option for health and safety reasons, international students who cannot return to Atlanta, in the event that a student or professor becomes ill, or in the event of a major outbreak. 

These results have been reported to the Georgia Tech Administration and have been used to guide decisions as we prepare to return to campus. To view the full report of results, please click here.


On Friday, June 12, 2020, SGA leaders met with the leaders of Black Student Organizations (BSOs) to discuss how SGA can bolster Institute support for Georgia Tech’s Black student community. This meeting came in the wake of nationwide protests against racial injustice across the country and the world. Some of the requests that BSO leaders have made to President Cabrera and his administration include the following:

  1. Black student spaces. With the construction of the new Student Center, the Black Student Offices have been pushed to the corner of West campus, making spaces for Black students harder to access. BSOs need a space more centrally located on campus. Physical spaces are crucial in signaling inclusion on behalf of an institution for underrepresented groups.
  2. Black student scholarships. Nationally, Black students must take out loans at a higher rate than all other student groups in order to afford the cost of college, as recorded by the National Center for Education Statistics. Only two scholarships currently exist for minority students at Tech — Tech Promise and Goizueta. Neither of these scholarships has been given the sole focus of incentivizing the attendance and retention of undergraduate Black students.
  3. A stronger commitment to diversity, justice, and representation. Increased enrollment of Black students and increased hiring of Black professors, researchers, and lecturers. Increased support of black-owned businesses including food truck vendors.

The full list of demands can be viewed here.

SGA cabinet members have since elevated the list of demands that BSO leaders provided in our discussions with President Cabrera, members of his administration, and the leaders of campus departments. 

Undergraduate SGA President Brielle Lonsberry and graduate SGA President Lea Harris wrote a follow-up letter to President Cabrera and Dr. Archie Ervin to further emphasize the importance of incorporating the feedback from BSO leaders into long term sustainable structural changes, making anti-bias and microaggression training accessible campus-wide, and urge the institute to publicly announce institute actions being made to support these goals.

Undergraduate and graduate cabinet members Mykala Sinclair and Nettie Brown sat as panelists on the Race At Georgia Tech – A Call to Action talk on Thursday, July 16, 2020. During the discussion, President Cabrera announced five tangible actions the institute will be incorporating campus-wide. They include:

  1. Incorporating a bias and harassment component to the Institute’s new student orientation and employee onboarding programs.
  2. Implementing a new implicit bias training program for students and staff focused on racial bias and discrimination.
  3. Establishing a Georgia Tech Diversity and Inclusion Council to identify issues and propose solutions on an ongoing basis.
  4. Creating a Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) Community Council composed of students, staff, faculty, and members of GTPD to ensure open communication and collaboratively identify ways in which GTPD can continually improve how it serves the community.
  5. Creating a new Diversity Strategy position at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) reporting to the vice president for GTRI and dotted line report to the vice president for Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to lead diversity recruiting, training, and professional development support for enhanced career progression for underrepresented minorities and women research faculty and staff.

Members of SGA’s undergraduate cabinet, Mykala Sinclair and Jackson Caruso met with the director of the Office of Undergraduate Admission to discuss what plans the office has to increase Black student recruitment and enrollment.

Georgia Tech Dining has announced that it will partner with local, minority-owned food truck vendors to more than double the available food trucks on campus in the fall. A finalized schedule will be available soon. Additionally, these plans will increase the regularity of daily food truck availability on campus for the fall semester and increase accessibility to food trucks via meal plan inclusion.

Members of SGA’s undergraduate cabinet, Mykala Sinclair and Kyle Smith joined a new working group created by the Office of Minority Educational Development (OMED) called the Racial Injustice and Sexual Violence (RISV) Collective which had its first meeting on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. The Collective was charged with the responsibility of:

  1. Creating a culturally relevant Racial Inequality and Sexual Violence Education and Awareness Action Plan.
  2. Establishing accountability metrics for the execution and evaluation of these education and awareness protocols at Georgia Tech (starting in the Black community and hopefully expanding beyond).

While we recognize the progress we have made, we also acknowledge that the fight for racial justice in our institutions of higher education will require systemic-level changes and continuous advocacy. We look forward to advancing these efforts in the year ahead.


The COVID-19 pandemic has created serious challenges for international students who have continuously voiced their concerns to SGA. SGA elevated a letter signed by 300+ international students in advocacy efforts with President Cabrera and members of his administration. Additionally, SGA leaders met with the author of the letter to personally discuss strategies to advocate for international students. Some of the requests included:

  1. Remote instruction options. The Institute must provide a viable option for students to remotely complete their academic coursework, including expanding its online course offerings and developing a uniform policy governing participation and attendance for students in different time zones.
  2. Communicate guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. The Institute must communicate any relevant guidance from the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to students on F-1 visas and applicable immigration statuses, including any guidance about the completion of academic coursework full-time remotely in the fall semester.
  3. Tuition and fees adjustments. The Institute must address the new financial circumstances of international and out-of-state students, many of whom ordinarily pay full out-of-state tuition to attend classes in-person, and must seriously consider lowering tuition prices and expanding aid and scholarship opportunities for incoming and current international students.

On July 6, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced new guidance measures that stated that nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students would not be allowed to take a full online course load and remain in the United States. In the wake of this policy, undergraduate SGA President Brielle Lonsberry and graduate SGA President Lea Harris joined a working group to elevate student concerns on this policy. During which they pushed for greater accommodations to ensure international student access and safety. 

SGA also received a list of questions and concerns about this policy from the Georgia Tech International Ambassadors that was elevated to campus administrators. On July 14, 2020, ICE rescinded this policy after a lawsuit was brought by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

To support international students, Georgia Tech Housing has announced the following:

  1. The GT Housing contract no-penalty cancellation period has been extended.
  2. Housing options have been provided to all students regardless of residential/contract status.
  3. GT Housing has committed to increased communication with international students who plan to live on campus in the fall.
  4. Earlier housing availability for international students.


Members of SGA Undergraduate Cabinet, Kyle, Grace, Emmett, and Joyce, have been working with undergrad Pride to advocate for more STI testing on campus, access to/advertising for Emory’s PREP (which is a preventative medication for AIDS), and we will be collaborating with the LGBTQIA Resource center at GT for event planning going forward. 

Grace Swift, the VP of Communications, met with Undergrad Pride Alliance and spoke with previous leadership from the Pride Alliance and determined the following commitments that SGA can make:

  • Ensure that incoming first-year students/students in general know how to apply for name changes through the registrar so they aren’t deadnamed
  • Connect with the chairs of each school to get them to get thier faculty to take Trans 101 and Safe Space Training
  • Promote holidays that are relevant to the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Promote gender-inclusive housing options on campus
  • Advocate for multi-stall gender-inclusive restrooms (specifically in the new student center)

Title IX Letter to USG

Title IX Letter to USG

July 21, 2020

Dear Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia,

The Student Government Associations (SGA) of the University System of Georgia colleges and universities stand with survivors of sexual misconduct. As representatives of Georgia students, it is our duty to express our desire for Georgia colleges and universities to hold themselves to a higher standard than the Department of Education (DOE) requires with its recent amendments to Title IX. 

We, as students, would be wrong to ignore the presence of positive change within these reforms. Title IX now explicitly covers sexual misconduct that occurs in fraternity and sorority housing and requires increased visibility of the Title IX Coordinator on college campuses.1 Additionally, the new classification of stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence as acts of sexual harassment marks a step forward in addressing and preventing sexual misconduct on college campuses.2

That being said, changes to Title IX also strip survivors of several crucial protections. By narrowing the scope of complaints that colleges are required to investigate by changing the definition of sexual harassment to “unwelcome conduct” that is “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to education,” all students who experience sexual harassment are not protected.3 Such a narrow definition of sexual harassment binds universities’ hands in their ability to take action against students who prevent their peers from receiving equal access to our quality Georgia public educations. We therefore ask that the University System of Georgia guides its colleges and universities to address sexual misconduct claims even if they do not fit the high standard of “severe” or “pervasive” and continue to use the definition of sexual harassment defined in the ‘Dear Colleague’ Letter.4

Moreover, under the new reforms, colleges are not required to handle cases of sexual misconduct that occur outside the United States or outside a school program or activity.5 This will result in cases of sexual misconduct that occur on study abroad programs and in off-campus apartments not being investigated. However, under the Title IX Final Rule, colleges remain free to adopt disciplinary systems to address sexual misconduct committed outside the United States,6 and can offer supportive measures to students who report sexual harassment that occurred off-campus, as well as outside a school program or activity.7 We ask that the University System of Georgia compels its colleges and universities to investigate all claims that involve enrolled students, both on and off campus.

To address the presumption of innocence aspect of the changes, these Title IX reforms now allow colleges and universities to choose between two different evidentiary standards: “preponderance of evidence” and “clear and convincing.”8 In many cases of sexual misconduct, these offenses occur in private places such as residence halls, residential housing, and fraternity housing, and without substantial quantities of documented evidence.9 This is evident by the fact that in 35.3 percent of incidents involving penetration among women who had consumed alcohol, the survivor was passed out or asleep for at least part of the incident of her rape.10 Consequently, a clear and convincing evidentiary standard inordinately disadvantages complainants, establishing the need for a preponderance of evidence standard. Furthermore, a preponderance of evidence standard aligns schools’ treatment of sexual misconduct complaints with similar civil rights statutes and more generally with courts’ handling of civil cases.11 Both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits race discrimination by educational institutions and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination in employment, use a preponderance of the evidence standard.12 The clear and convincing evidentiary standard would be inconsistent with the standard of proof established for violations of the civil rights laws and may guarantee the accused innocence, which is why we ask the University System of Georgia to establish preponderance of evidence as the evidentiary standard for our colleges and universities.

Title IX reforms aim to address the previous existence of a de-facto college court system created in previous Title IX reforms. The DOE seeks to fix these problematic pseudo-courts by creating the guarantee of a cross-examination of the survivor. In allowing survivors to be cross-examined by their alleged abusers–or a representative of them–the DOE is refusing to acknowledge the traumatic nature of reliving an assault in a series of questioning in front of their abuser. Such an environment poses a significant threat of intimidating survivors to not pursue formal Title IX investigations.13 According to a 2018-2019 annual report from the the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where cross-examination of survivors began in 2018, since 2018, fewer students chose to pursue formal Title IX investigations and there was a significant increase in requests for an “Adaptable Resolution” or informal resolution that issues no punishments to the accused.14 The report states on page eighteen, “some Claimants who wanted University action taken in response to their concerns also expressed hesitation about pursuing an Investigative Resolution in light of the addition of a hearing and direct cross-examination under the Interim Policy.”15 In a reform ultimately aimed at allowing survivors of sexual misconduct to lead fulfilling, productive college careers and receive the education they earned with admittance, a cross-examination undermines the mental well-being of survivors and creates further trauma for survivors. Consequently, we ask the USG to establish guidelines for these mandatory cross-examinations that would allow for such reviews to be conducted in a manner that is tactful, respectful, and safe for survivors’ mental health. 

Mental health issues are already incredibly prevalent on college campuses, and both the administrations and SGAs are committed to an ongoing fight to alleviate them, and to do better by our fellow students throughout all of Georgia.

We recognize that Title IX is a substantial body of legislation, as are the changes to it. However, we still implore you to allow USG colleges and universities to hold themselves to a higher standard with regard to Title IX, especially when it comes to handling allegations of sexual assault. Our aim is to clearly delineate between strict Title IX rules and guidelines which leave room for USG interpretation. For every rule that is open to interpretation, we exhort USG to establish a survivor-focused justice-seeking process. This, we believe, will allow both the administrations and SGAs to better advocate for and protect survivors of sexual misconduct and continue to make our campus a safe place for everyone. 


Georgia Tech SGA, University of Georgia SGA, Dalton State College SGA, Fort Valley State University SGA, Georgia College and State University SGA, Georgia State University, Georgia Gwinnett College SGA, Columbus State University SGA, Valdosta State University SGA

SGA Town Hall Announcement

SGA Town Hall Announcement

The Georgia Tech Student Government Association will be hosting a student town hall on Wednesday, July 22nd from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The panelists will include a few members of SGA leadership, as well as leadership from Georgia Tech International Ambassadors and the Residence Hall Association.

SGA is in the process of collecting questions about Georgia Tech’s return to campus this fall, so that we can gather answers to as many as we possibly can. Click here to submit a question to us (this form will be open until Wednesday). We will also be accepting live questions through the Q&A feature on BlueJeans events.

We want to use this time to let you know what we’ve been working on in regards to our advocacy efforts, as well as provide answers about the fall and what it will look like. This will also be a time for you to voice concerns so that we can better understand student sentiment. We would love to see you this Wednesday!  As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at sga@gatech.edu.

Volunteers Requested for First-Year Student Move-in

Volunteers Requested for First-Year Student Move-in

Georgia Tech Campus Services is requesting student volunteers to assist in providing a safe and positive move-in experience for students and their families during the two-day move-in on August 8th and 9th.

From a centralized mobile check-in to a 30-minute unloading zone, the new, streamlined process is designed to help students check-in and move in while remaining safe and happy.  

General volunteer positions include greeting families as they arrive for check-in, directing traffic, and helping roll bins to students’ buildings.  

Volunteers can sign up for a shift by completing the sign-up form below where they can see a more detailed description of each position before signing up.  

Volunteers can expect to receive virtual training for their assigned role the first week of August.  

SGA Letter to President Cabrera

SGA Letter to President Cabrera on Covid-19

July 7, 2020

President Cabrera,

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the recent spike in cases in Georgia, we ask that you and the rest of the Georgia Tech administration set the health and safety of the Georgia Tech community as the top priority. Since we have been notified within the last day that the University System of Georgia (USG) has given Georgia Tech additional latitude to meet the unique needs of our campus, we would like to direct several concerns toward you and members of your administration. We recognize and greatly appreciate the USG’s recent move to mandate face coverings on campuses across the state and hope that this is a starting point to further protect students, faculty, and staff. We thank you for including students in the governance process thus far and wish to continue to elevate the concerns and desires of our student body. 

We, as student leaders at Georgia Tech and on behalf of our entire undergraduate and graduate student body, stand with the 800+ academic professors1, 300+ international students2, and 2000+ students, alumni, and parents3 at Georgia Tech who released statements to demand action and outline their serious concerns for the Fall 2020 semester. 

Since the pandemic began, students across our campus have demanded that Georgia Tech and the USG meaningfully address their concerns. Students continue to express that the current Fall 2020 plans are causing fear and emotional distress due to their inability to make safe choices for remote coursework or to return to campus safely. While the ability to require face coverings more widely indoors will address some concerns, we still want to express the need to support students and faculty in their personal accommodations to  increase the safety of on-campus experiences and hybrid courses. Young people remain the fastest growing demographic to be infected with Covid-19, and it also must be recognized that campuses are at high risk for the spread of infection. Georgia Tech and USG leaders must protect both the physical and mental health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

Similarly, a sentiment heard widely is the need to accommodate students who have faced barriers and inequities in accessing the tools and technology required to continue their education during the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, Georgia Tech must provide safe and viable course opportunities for our immunocompromised, out-of-state, on-campus resident, and international student populations. Students who are themselves at higher risk and/or live with and regularly interact with individuals who are at higher risk of the coronavirus have repeatedly voiced their deep concern for the lack of remote course delivery options and safety precautions being put in place on campus this Fall. These students seek assurance of remote accommodations being made available during hybrid course delivery to reduce transmission for those who fall under USG outlined underlying medical conditions. 

International students, who make up approximately 23% of our total student population, have asked for viable options to complete academic coursework given the travel concerns and immigration restrictions around the world and now within our own borders. With the new changes to the active Student and Exchange Visitor Program, our international students have been disadvantaged and left in the dark on how to proceed with their plans for the Fall in order to maintain their visa status and accommodate safety. Additionally, due to the expected change in experience on campus, many international and out-of-state students, who normally pay full out-of-state tuition, are going through new financial and economic challenges. We ask that in your advocacy efforts with USG you champion lowering tuition prices, expanding aid and scholarship opportunities, and waiving cancelation fees to support students.

On behalf of the diverse student body that we represent, we strongly urge the following: 

  1. The Board of Regents and Georgia Tech administration partner together to safeguard the health and safety needs of the Georgia Tech community, informed by scientific evidence. 
  2. Make remote course delivery available for all students during the Fall 2020 semester in order to reduce disease transmission risk and to reduce disruption of educational delivery in the event of worsening pandemic conditions. We emphasize that no student, faculty, or staff should be coerced into risking their health and the health of their families by working and/or learning on campus when there is a remote/online equivalent. 
  3. Make on-campus experiences and courses available for students who need access to campus residences and on-campus laboratories or other specialized facilities, while ensuring accommodations can be sought to access such resources for students with USG outlined underlying medical conditions.
  4. Provide large-scale Covid-19 testing and ensure timely contact tracing of new infections. 
  5. Adjust tuition prices, waive cancellation fees, and expand scholarship opportunities and aid to support students whose finances have been impacted by the pandemic.

With so much uncertainty facing our student body, now is not the time for business as usual. This moment demands that the USG and Georgia Tech demonstrate steady and compassionate leadership that acts in the best interest of students, faculty, and staff. As the Fall is quickly approaching and the landscape of the semester continues to evolve we highlight the importance of transparent, timely communication to students about all decisions being discussed and made. We are counting on you to do what is right.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

In Progress and Service,

Brielle Lonsberry
Undergraduate Student Body President 

Lea Harris
Graduate Student Body President 

Kyle Smith
Undergraduate Executive Vice President 

Jay McKinney
Graduate Executive Vice President 


  1. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdjyLGfLIncWtm8fntduj3mMhZhhGtF2khGYHNJdZIXu1xBhg/viewform?fbclid=IwAR1g9SmUIpHVwoNjILY3_2SCwcsJWic-GS4DBEs3Dc6WSx-rg8d3n5C5dOU
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Students Return to Classes Survey

Students Return to Classes Survey

Yellow Jackets, 

I hope you are doing as well as you can be during these times. As we are in the process of returning to on-campus instruction in the Fall, it is important for us in the GT Covid-19 Recovery Task Force to gather and address concerns to better cater to students returning to campus. Our first priority is keeping our Georgia Tech community safe. 

To gauge concerns for students planning to take courses on campus this Fall, we are providing a survey titled “Undergraduate and Graduate Student Return to Campus Survey,” that will collect feedback on the upcoming Fall instruction. Please take a few minutes to fill this out, found here, as it will be very important in making sure concerns are reported and addressed for your return to campus.

SGA greatly values your input on how we can best advocate for you! I can’t wait until we are all united on campus once again. 

In Progress and Service,

Brielle Lonsberry
Undergraduate Student Body President

SGA’s Response to Student Demands

SGA’s Response to Student Demands

  1. SGA’s undergraduate and graduate Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs and Vice Presidents of Student Life are initiating conversations with the admissions office, including the Black Student Recruitment Team, to discuss further and expanded efforts to recruit more Black students to Georgia Tech and engage further with local middle and high schools as well as increase resources allocated to the Black Student Recruitment Team.
  2. Joint executive leadership has participated and will continue to engage with President Cabrera, Dean Stein, and Dr. Ervin, among others, to advocate for the hiring and retention of more black administration and faculty.
  3. Georgia Tech Campus Services has already committed to bringing additional food trucks to campus this Fall due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. SGA’s undergraduate and graduate Vice Presidents of Campus Services are meeting with Campus Services leadership this week to advocate for black-owned food trucks and the continuation of student involvement in the selection process. 
  4. Under USG Student Voting Privileges Policy, section 4.1.3, Georgia Tech is required to permit an excused absence if a student’s class schedule prevents them from voting in any federal, state, or local elections. SGA worked with the Registrar’s Office throughout the Spring of 2020 to set up the process for Tech students to request an excused absence. Due to COVID-19, the communications and promotion of these efforts have been postponed until this Fall. To request an excused absence to vote please visit https://registrar.gatech.edu/info/request-for-excused-absence-for-voting.
  5. SGA’s undergraduate and graduate Vice Presidents of Campus Services are meeting with Campus Services leadership and student organizations in upcoming weeks to discuss the treatment of campus services’ workers, specifically black workers in the dining halls and those who operate campus transportation, as well as potential changes to the food truck program on campus. 
  6. Joint executive leadership has participated and will continue to engage with President Cabrera, Dean Stein, and Dr. Ervin, among others, to advocate for an expanded ethics curriculum for undergraduate and graduate students. In the short term, joint leadership is working to expand bias-training workshop capacity across campus and diversity training for anyone involved in academic instruction (TAs, professors, staff).

Any questions or comments are welcome at sga@gatech.edu!

Student Engagement Events and Listening Sessions

Student Engagement Events and Listening Sessions

Sponsored by the Division of Student Life

Coffee with CARE

The Center for Assessment, Education and Referral (CARE) is available to help you navigate resources, provide support and listen during difficult times. Coffee with CARE is a drop-in opportunity for students to learn about campus and community resources and ask questions in a non-clinical setting. We are reaching out especially to Black and African American-identified students and other communities who are impacted by current events. No question or challenge is too big or small. CARE recognizes the need to support a student in every aspect of well-being. Whether it is your emotional, social, physical, academic or financial well-being, CARE wants to make sure that you can get connected with the support you need. Each week will focus on a different topic related to maximizing your mental health and well-being.  If you have been considering coming to CARE, this is a great opportunity to get to know the CARE clinical staff before initiating services.

Week 1:
Are you a student who is seeking support or experiencing fatigue due to the uncertainty of the current cultural climate protests, COVID-19, 24/7 news cycle, exposure to violence?

Join us for our discussion of self-care strategies, creating boundaries and practicing self-compassion.

Thursday, June 11: 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
BlueJeans Meeting ID: 423211297

Friday, June 12: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
BlueJeans Meeting ID: 439868285

Week 2:
Do you want to explore strategies on how to support your friends? Join us in a discussion on how to have difficult conversations, practice empathy, and learn the difference between listening and giving advice.

Monday, June 15th: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
BlueJeans Meeting ID: 565404910

Tuesday, June 16th: 10:00 AM – 11:00
MBlueJeans Meeting ID:  521495207

Counseling Center: Let’s Talk Special Offerings

The Counseling Center is available to offer support to students who want to be heard during these difficult times.  We extend a particular invitation to Black and African American-identified students and other communities who feel the impact of current events and want to be listened to, heard, and supported.

“Let’s Talk” is a Georgia Tech Counseling Center program that provides easy access to informal, friendly, supportive, and confidential consultations with Georgia Tech counselors. Counselors will hold virtual walk-in hours throughout the week.  Most Let’s Talk sessions last about 30 minutes. 

To sign-up for an individual time that fits your schedule please email one of our counselors for the day and time you prefer.  Days and times are listed below.  They will send you a confidential Blue Jeans link in order to protect your privacy.

To access a counselor after hours and on weekends please call the main Counseling Center number at 404-894-2575 and follow the prompts.  To initiate formal counseling services please contact GT CARE at 404-894-3498.

Community Listening Circles and Special Events

These various community listening circles center black students. Staff from each Center will be available to offer support and resources. We invite all students who may need/want this space to join us for community and virtual healing.

  • LGBTQIA Resource Center, Student Diversity Programs, Veteran’s Resource Center, Women’s Resource Center
    • Wednesday, June 10th: 2pm-3pm EST
    • BlueJeans Meeting ID 878 991 611
    • Join staff from the LGBTQIA Resource Center, Student Diversity Programs, the Veteran’s Resource Center, and the Women’s Resource Center for a community listening circle that centers Black Georgia Tech students. Staff from the Centers will be available to offer support, resources, and opportunity for healing.
  • LGBTQIA Resource Center: Black LGBTQIA Community Listening Circle
    • Friday, June 5th: 4pm-5pm EST
    • BlueJeans Meeting ID 590 510 148
    • Join staff from the LGBTQIA Resource Center for a community listening circle that centers Black LGBTQIA students. Staff from the Center will be available to offer support and resources. We invite all LGBTQIA students to join us for community and virtual healing.
  • Women’s Resource Center: Black Women’s Community Listening Circle
    • Friday, June 5th: 12pm-1pm EST
    • BlueJeans Meeting ID 805 290 111
    • Join staff from the Women’s Resource Center for a community listening circle centering on Black women. WRC staff will be available to offer support, resources, and a dedicated space for student processing and healing.
  • Veteran’s Resource Center
    • Friday, June 12th: 12pm-1pm EST
    • BlueJeans Meeting ID 772 185 774
Information for Registered Student Organizations

Student Organizations and groups looking to have conversations, listening sessions, or taking actions towards creating more equitable and inclusive communities are encouraged to connect with staff from the Collective for Inclusion, Advocacy, and Support Centers:

Grand Challenges Action through Education Workshop

Saturday, June 6 from 3:00 – 4:30 PM

Guided by the MSW @USC Diversity Toolkit, we will discuss identity, privilege, race, gender and sexuality

Office of the Arts

Belonging and Community: A Conversation on Atlanta, Art & Connections with Bill T. Jones

Thursday, June 25 (Time TBA)
Georgia Tech Arts in partnership with WABE & ATL PBA present a virtual town hall discussion with renowned choreographer Bill T. Jones that explores the importance of community when facing the sense of isolation and divisiveness present in society today. Jones will be joined by Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera, with the conversation moderated by Lois Reitzes, host of WABE’s “City Lights.” Together, they will examine questions probing the ways in which we all have felt isolated before and during this pandemic; how we can come together and create a sense of community, of belonging; and how art can help us to imagine a new future of connections. This event is free and open to all.Long before the pandemic, Jones was exploring this concept of community while developing a new work titled What Problem? that is inspired by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the character of Pip from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. It is an adaptation of Deep Blue Sea made for a proscenium performance. Georgia Tech Arts will present What Problem? at the Ferst Center for the Arts in October, and it will also include opportunities for professional and novice performers from the Atlanta community to participate in the production along with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company members. Visit https://arts.gatech.edu/content/what-problem to learn more.

Staff Development

“I’m Not Okay”- A Conversation with Black Staff in the Division of Student Life

With everything going on in the world, it’s okay to not be okay. Join us in a conversation as we check-in with each other and build community and support during these challenging times. The conversation will be facilitated by Stephanie Ray, Joi Alexander, and LaRonda Hollis

When: June 10, 2020
Time: 3-4:30 pm
Location: Blue Jeans Link: https://bluejeans.com/825187432/9230?src=calendarLink