SGA officers attend national training conference

The 2016-2017 Upper Iowa University Student Government Association officers include (front) academic extension officer Kelsey Sanders of Sumner, Iowa; (middle, l-r) treasurer Mikayla Hand of Alburnett, Iowa; vice president Ashley Beringer of Worthington, Iowa; president Paige Davis of Rock Falls, Ill.; (back) secretary Bri Fenton of Crystal Lake, Ill. Officers Sanders, Hand, Beringer and Davis recently attended the American Student Government Association (ASGA) Training Conference in Orlando, Fla.

Four Upper Iowa University (UIU) student leaders recently attended the American Student Government Association (ASGA) Training Conference in Orlando, Fla. This year’s Peacock contingent included SGA president Paige Davis of Rock Falls, Ill.; vice president Ashley Beringer of Worthington, Iowa; treasurer Mikayla Hand of Alburnett, Iowa; and academic extension officer Kelsey Sanders of Sumner, Iowa.

Traditionally one of the largest Student Government conferences in the nation, the ASGA conference draws an estimated 250 student leaders and advisors from 30 institutions in 15 states. The event includes more than 20 workshops and roundtable discussions designed to address the specific needs of the participating SGA officers.

“The conference allowed me and other UIU officers to connect with SGA members from across the nation,” said Davis. “From this experience we were able to see firsthand what other student government organizations are doing to help benefit their fellow students. On a personal level, I feel the event helped improve my networking and professional skills.”

“I was looking forward to learning how to maximize each officer’s position in order to have an efficient and effective student government and I wasn’t disappointed,” Sanders agreed. “I not only came away with a better understanding of how to serve my fellow students, but I now realize our SGA experiences can be transferred to other areas of our lives, such as always striving to improve our skillset and work cohesively with others.”

Each of the UIU officers praised the conference speakers for being energetic, engaging and sharing a passion to help all SGA chapters become successful. At the same time, they agreed the opportunity to interact with other SGA officers proved to be greatly beneficial.

“Not only will the conference help me with my position as treasurer but it also had quite a few workshops with information that would also be helpful in all aspects of life, such as dealing with conflict,” explained  Hand. “Getting students involved is one of our biggest missions and the conference gave us ideas on how we could go about it.”

Among the suggestions that the Upper Iowa SGA officers feel could be implemented initially at the University are providing surveys to students, switching to online voting and continuing to network with other SGA chapters.

“I feel more prepared to make UIU’s Student Government Association the best that it can be,” said Berringer. “We each learned so many strategies to help increase student interest in our organization and to help it run more smoothly. I can’t wait to get started!”

Meet the 2016-2017 Upper Iowa University SGA officers

President Paige Davis is a senior, accounting/business management double major. A member of the UIU School of Business Student Advisory Board, she also participates on the Peacock cross country and track teams. The SGA president is also actively involved with Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), the oldest and largest student business organization devoted to students who are preparing for careers in business-related fields.  In addition, she is a member of Gamma Delta Phi, a sorority built on the three pillars of service, leadership and loyalty.

Vice President Ashley Beringer is a junior secondary math education major. She is involved in Education Club and serves as a tutor in the campus Tutor Center.

Treasurer Mikayla Hand is a senior majoring in mathematics and financial management. She is involved with the Peacock Entertainment Crew and Peacocks for Progress.

Academic extension officer Kelsey Sanders is a senior majoring in athletic training with a minor in psychology. She also intends to earn a coaching endorsement. Sanders is involved in Peacocks for Progress, Peacock Entertainment Crew and Alpha Chi Honor Society.

Secretary Bri Fenton was unable to attend the recent conference. A junior from Crystal Lake, Ill., Fenton is majoring in mathematics and sociology, with a minor in criminal justice. The EYE sorority vice president is also a Peacock women’s soccer team member and UIU Phonathon volunteer.

The Upper Iowa SGA agendas are emailed to UIU students before every scheduled meeting. Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are held at 12:10 p.m. every other Monday in the Student Center Ballroom. For additional information, contact

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