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Student Government Association

A group of students sitting on the lawn

The purpose of the Student Government Association is to listen to the student body, to create and maintain relations between the student body and the greater Smith community, and to advocate for student needs.

Every student is a member of the SGA, which is responsible for taking up campus issues and responding to student concerns. The SGA also acts as a liaison for students and organizations to the college’s administration and the board of trustees, and allocates money to organizations and students for activities.


Senate Meeting Minutes

The Smith Social Network contains the meeting minutes under Documents.


The SGA Cabinet refers pertinent issues to the Senate for legislation, and to the administration for policy resolution. The SGA Cabinet also works to ensure the financially stability of the SGA and allocates money to support events, groups, and individuals who are benefiting the Smith College community. Each class has a cabinet, which includes the class president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, historian and social chair. Class cabinets work together on class events and fundraisers. Cabinet members are elected in campus-wide and class-wide elections in the spring and fall.

Meetings for 2023-2024 will take place on Tuesdays at 7 pm in Campus Center 204.

SGA President
Vanessa Nicole Silva-Burgos '24

Vice President of Finance
Madelyn Halperin '26J

House Presidents' Association Chair

SGA Vice President
Alex Francesconi '24

SGA Secretary
Ava Linas '26

Curriculum Committee Chair
Mia Hwang, AC

Elections Chair

Ada Co-President, Co-Chair of Class President's Association
Claire Clusin AC

Sophomore Class President, Co-Chair of Class President's Association
Amalia Allen, '26

Senior Class Cabinet

The Senior Class Cabinet remains in its position for five years post-graduation, and helps plan the first- and five-year reunions. They are responsible for organizing all senior class activities, including teas, pub crawls, wine and cheese socials, senior ball, and senior week. The senior class president also sits on the committees for Rally Day, Ivy Day and Commencement and is responsible for giving an address at Commencement. Advised by the Director of the Office of Student Engagement.

Junior Class Cabinet

The Junior Class Cabinet strives to connect those juniors who are abroad with those who have chosen to spend their year on campus at Smith. In conjunction with the Lazarus Center and OSE—which provide instructive workshops, seminars and lectures—the Junior Class Cabinet works hard to prepare for senior year and beyond. The Junior Class Cabinet looks forward to the return of their fellow students from their many exotic study-abroad locations, so they can be reunited for their final year at Smith. Advised by the Assistant Director of Student Engagement.

Sophomore Class Cabinet

The Sophomore Class Cabinet is responsible for fostering class cohesion by planning events and other community-oriented activities. Previous events have included game nights, movie screenings, and hot chocolate and ice cream socials. Advised by the Student programs Coordinator in the Office of Student Engagement.

First-Year Class Cabinet

The First-Year Class Cabinet organizes events for the first-year class. The first-year class president remains in that position for the following academic year until the incoming class elects a president of its own. Advised by the Assistant Dean of Students, Director of the First-Year Experience.

Ada Cabinet

The Ada Cabinet advocates for Ada Comstock Scholars' needs on and off campus, organizes social activities for Adas (and their families when possible). The Ada President and Ada Coordinator also sit on the Ada Stakeholders Committee with members of the administration. Overall, the Ada Cabinet serves to connect the Ada Class, the rest of the Smith student body, and the administration.


The student senate provides an open space for anyone to come with ideas and concerns about the Smith community. As a governing body for Smith, they aim to be transparent, effective and efficient with every decision they make. Senators are responsible for approving the charters of new student organizations, as well as overseeing the bylaws and guidelines of various SGA committees and groups. They have the opportunity to sit on issue-based committees, with interests ranging from dining to disability services.

Meetings are open to all: Thursdays at 7 p.m., Campus Center Carroll Room

SGA Vice President/Senate Chair
Alex Francesconi '24
Senate Secretary
Ava Linas '26
Senate Parliamentarian/Chair of Chartering Committee
Claire Anton '25

Get Involved

There are numerous ways to get involved on campus. Each house offers a variety of possibilities for students to get involved and participate in house council activities under the umbrella of the SGA. 

Have an idea for an organization at Smith that would have lasting relevance to the community? Is there enough student interest to support such an organization? How do you get an organization started at Smith College? The SGA Chartering Committee can help. 

Submit a Proposal

1. Gauge interest among your peers. Start a list of interested members for your organization. If the list is greater than 10 people, you can start the process of chartering or recognizing your organization.

2. Decide if you want to charter or recognize your organization. The difference between these two types of student organizations is further explained on the SGA Website under “Chartering Committee”.

A recognized organization is able to have a Smith email address, have space on the Smith Student Social Network, reserve space in campus buildings, and use campus vans for transportation.

A chartered organization has all of the same resources as a recognized organization. In addition, a chartered organization is able to submit funding requests to the Finance Committee for events, projects, supplies and equipment.

3. Start a charter for your organization using the sample charter provided. We encourage building off of the current format and not taking away any of the pieces currently in the sample format. In the charter you must:

Fill out organization name and information where it says ‘xxx’

  • Describe the goals and purpose of the organization
  • Describe the frequency of meetings and specifically what will occur during meetings
  • Choose to be funded or not funded by the Finance Committee (recognized or chartered)
  • Choose a nondiscrimination policy (will you allow 5 College Students to join)

4. Schedule a meeting with the Chartering Committee Chair. They will offer advice, explain the chartering process, and answer any questions about the charter that still remain or pertain to your student organization. Use this calendly link to schedule a meeting. 

5. Share your charter Google Doc with the Chartering Committee for review. The Chartering Committee will help you revise your charter, so that you can be approved. If you want to be a recognized organization, you are now done with the process and are now officially recognized by Smith College. Congrats! Once approved, the Office of Student Engagement will be in touch about the Smith Social Network and Organization Leader Training.

6. If you are looking to be chartered, you will be scheduled to attend a hearing at a SGA Senate meeting; this is your opportunity to present and defend your charter. You can set up an additional appointment with the Chair of rules committee to go over your presentation and answer any last questions about chartering, the hearing, and the process.

7. The week after your hearing, the senate will vote on your student organization. Once approved, the Office of Student Engagement will be in touch about the Smith Social Network and Organization Leader Training.


Fall 2023 Election Timeline

Registration: September 6-16
Campaigning: September 17-20
Voting Days: September 21 and 22
Results: September 23
First Senate Meeting: September 28

More Information

All questions about the elections should be directed to the SGA Elections Chair

Appointed Positions

Academic Honor Board Class Representatives
Contact: Alexandra Keller, Dean of the College

One representative from the Sophomore, Junior, Senior, and Ada Comstock class is chosen by the Academic Honor Board each spring to fill open vacancies on the board. All class representatives are selected through an application and interview process, and have tenure until their graduating year.

Advisory Board for the Resource Center on Gender and Sexuality
Contact: The Office for Equity & Inclusion

The Resource Center on Gender and Sexuality provides a space for many different communities at Smith to come together. This board is looking for students who would like to help foster a space for queer community and focus on activism here at Smith. The board is very interested in supporting the queer organizations on campus as well as forwarding and expanding discussions on diversity at Smith.

Bookstore Advisory Committee
Contact: Jill McGrath, Controller

The Bookstore Advisory Committee deals with issues regarding the Smith College bookstore. Student representatives will engage in conversation with the bookstore management team along with other members of the administration and faculty. Through this committee, students will learn more about the bookstore industry and its constituent roles and responsibilities. The committee meets two times per semester.

Campus Safety Advisory Group
Contact: Julianne Ohotnicky, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

The Campus Safety Advisory Group is made up of students, faculty, and staff to help guide the policies and practices of the Department of Campus Safety. The committee meets monthly.

Committee on Missions and Priorities (CMP)
Contact: Elena Palladino, Secretary of the Board of Trustees and Assistant to the President of the College

The Committee on Mission and Priorities is made up of two student representatives and members of the faculty and administration who advise the president on strategic, financial, human and physical resource planning for the college's next decade. The committee solicits, generates, and reviews proposals for major projects and initiatives; assesses progress in achieving the goals of current initiatives; and recommends priorities for the allocation and reallocation of resources. The committee meets regularly with the Committee on Academic Priorities, the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation, and the appropriate committees of the Board of Trustees, both to be informed by and to be informed of the work of those committees. Periodically the CMP reports its findings and recommendations to the Smith community at large. Meetings are generally held once a month on Wednesday or Thursday afternoons. Two students (a junior and a senior) serve on the committee, each with staggered terms of two years. Time commitment: two years. Only rising juniors are eligible to apply.

SGA Curriculum Committee
Contact: the SGA Vice-Chair of Appointments

The Curriculum Committee is responsible for keeping the student Senate and the campus at large informed of curriculum concerns and changes. The committee assists the administration with the college's mandatory faculty teaching evaluations and holds forums to discuss timely educational policy issues. The Curriculum Committee serves as a resource for academic representatives, department liaisons, and the student body at large - traditional and non-traditional students alike.

Library Advisory Committee
Contact: Susan Fliss, Dean of Libraries

The Committee shall review the Library operating budget, capital budget requests, space, staffing, long-range planning, and other Library matters. The Committee may make recommendations on these matters to the Provost and Dean of the Faculty. It shall consider the way in which the Library's policies and practices can best meet the curricular and scholarly needs of its users. 

Finance Committee
Contact: Contact: the SGA Vice-Chair of Appointments

The Finance Committee consists of the Chair of Finance (aka the Vice President for Finance), the Vice Chair of chartering (aka the Vice Chair of Rules Committee), the SGA president, and ten liaisons. The Vice President for Finance is elected by the student body in the spring of each year. The Vice Chair is elected internally by the Finance Committee in the fall. Eight liaisons are appointed in the fall through the Committee on Appointments. Two Senator liaisons will be elected in the fall through the Senate.

Serving on the ORC is a one-year commitment. Organization chairs, presidents and treasurers cannot serve on the board.

Technology Steering Committee
Contact: Samantha Earp, Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Information Technology and Service

The Technology Steering Committee (TSC) is the senior governance group for technology issues at the college. The committee guides and advises Information Technology Services and senior management on strategic information technology matters. In collaboration with the CIO, the committee recommends IT priorities, policies and strategies. Throughout the year the committee will: evaluate, review, and recommend changes to IT policies; recommend annual technology investment priorities; provide guidance on the balance of central and departmental responsibilities for technology; monitor ITS plans to sustain the necessary capacity, security, and recoverability of the college's technology infrastructure; and review and make recommendations on new opportunities for Five College technology collaborations. The TSC is co-chaired by the provost and the vice president for Finance and Administration, and is staffed by the CIO.

Campus Planning Committee
Contact: Matthew Tomaszewski, Associate Vice President for Campus Planning and Sustainability

The Campus Planning Committee shall consist of, the Provost or the  Associate Provost, the Dean of the College (or designee), the Vice President for Finance and  Administration (Chair), the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations the Associate Vice President for Campus Planning and Sustainability, the Director of the  Botanic Garden, five members of the faculty, two staff members, and one student. Faculty, staff and student members are appointed by the president and serve three year terms when possible 

The Committee provides feedback and makes recommendations to the president on campus landscape and exterior design, including considerations of accessibility. The committee shall review all building and renovation projects with exterior design  changes, make recommendations related to implementation of the Landscape Master Plan, recommend standards for campus signage and outdoor furniture, inform decisions regarding campus traffic and parking  matters, and make recommendations about the installation of outdoor works of art.  

Inclusion Council
Contact: Floyd Cheung, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

The mission of the Inclusion Council is to offer grounded perspectives on how inclusion, diversity and equity -- inherent in the relationships, practices and activities of students, staff and faculty -- are playing out at Smith College. The members of the council shall advise the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion on what’s working well and how the College can improve. The Council has a student from each class year represented and new members are appointed as positions are vacated.

Vendor Code of Conduct Advisory Committee
Contact: TBD

Smith College is committed to conducting its business affairs in a socially responsible manner consistent with its educational mission and commitment to diversity. To this end, this code of conduct is a working document to guide vendor and institutional purchasers of apparel. The vendor code is a work in progress and will be revised through an active participation in the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) and the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Smith College recognizes eight cardinal principles as the basis for effective performance under this code of conduct: full public disclosure of factory addresses, commitment to fair wages, independent monitoring, freedom of association and collective bargaining, safe working conditions, no forced labor, no child labor, and women's rights. Smith College expects affiliated vendors and institutional purchasers to conduct their business in a manner consistent with these principles and to follow workplace standards that adhere to this code of conduct.

Please contact the SGA Vice-Chair of Appointments with any questions or concerns.


The Student Government Association at Smith is made up of several committees, boards and the SGA senate, and chaired by various SGA cabinet members.

The various responsibilities of SGA committees include organizing class events, appointing students to SGA committees, upholding the Academic Honor Code and the Smith College Code of Conduct, overseeing the student activities fee, and addressing academic and nonacademic concerns on campus.

The Academic Honor Board oversees that every student upholds the Smith College Academic Honor Code. They hear cases of infractions of the code and vote on sanctions, ranging anywhere from a warning to expulsion. The board is busiest when the student body returns to school in September and February, as most violations are reported during finals and the reading period.

Join the Honor Board

Class Representatives

The Honor Board selects class representatives every spring for open vacancies. All class representatives are selected through an application and interview process, and have tenure until their graduating year. See the Elections and Appointments Committee section for more information.

Honor Board Secretary

The Honor Board secretary is elected every year by the general student body in the campus-wide spring election and must be a rising junior. Because the secretary is promoted to chair in the following year, please note that this is a two-year commitment; a student interested in this position may not go abroad. To apply for secretary, register with the Elections and Appointments Committee.

Please contact the Academic Honor Board Chair with any questions or concerns.

The Student Power Coalition is committed to acting as a bridge between marginalized students, administration, faculty and staff to foster change within our campus community. This council came together at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester as a result of a small movement over the summer among low income and financially struggling students as well as from feelings of urgency to address the deep-rooted racism in academic institutions. To achieve this goal, the council pursues campaigns centered on individual issues that are broadly in support of equity on campus. Our objective is to represent the general student body’s demands and concerns. Our intention is to partner with affected students over the academic year to advocate for informed changes on campus. 

Please contact the Student Power Coalition via email.

The College Conduct Board ensures students at Smith College uphold the standards for student ethics and conduct outlined in the Smith College Student Handbook. The board hears cases of alleged infractions of nonacademic rules and makes decisions about the outcomes of cases.

The board comprises 16 students who hear cases in teams of five members constituting a hearing board. Every board is assisted by an adviser who is a member of the student affairs staff.

Code of Social Conduct

The Conduct Board uses the code of social conduct and policies of the college to evaluate cases.

Students should be familiar with the examples cited in the Pohibited Conduct section, but should also be aware that this list does not constitute an exhaustive or complete list of prohibited conduct.

Please refer to the FAQ section of the College Conduct Board page or contact the College Conduct Board Chair for any questions or concerns.

The Curriculum Committee serves as a resource for academic representatives, department liaisons and the student body (both traditional and nontraditional students) informed of curriculum concerns and changes.

The committee publishes ASPECTS, assists the administration with the college's mandatory faculty teaching evaluations and holds forums to discuss timely educational policy issues.

Teaching Awards

The SGA Faculty Teaching Award is an opportunity for students to recognize professors who have had a positive impact on their time at Smith. The most compelling recommendations are those that are detailed and thoughtful.

The SGA Curriculum Committee chose two recipients this year, one tenured and one non-tenured. Awards were presented at Rally Day.

The recipients of the 2022 Teaching Awards are:
Tenured: Nancy Whittier, Sociology
Non-tenured:Javier Puente, Latin American Studies

Gavel Awards

The Gavel Awards have been administered by the SGA since 1985 and are given annally to two staff members, one service staff and one administrative staff member, as a token of appreciation for the many ways in which staff members affect the lives of Smith Students. The awards were presented at Rally Day.

The 2022 recipients of the Gavel Awards are:
Erin Cohn, Director Wurtele Center for Leadership
Patti Dion, Building Services

Course Critiques

Fines incurred by not completing course critiques can be appealed by sending e-mail to the Curriculum Committee Chair.

Please contact the Curriculum Committee Chair with any questions or concerns.

The Committee on Elections organizes and runs the all-college and class elections. It runs the voting site and monitors the candidates. In addition, the Committee on Appointments interviews and appoints students to various college committees. The Chair of Elections works closely with the Vice Chair of Appointments, the Chair sits on Cabinet and coordinates with the SGA Office.

Both all-college elections and specific committee appointments are held in the fall and spring semesters each year. The Chair of the Committee on Elections is elected in an all-campus election. The rest of the committees' members are Senators who are elected through the Senate or non-Senate members who are appointed by the Committee on Appointments.

Please contact the Chair of Elections with any questions or concerns.

The Finance Committee is a group of Cabinet members who meet every Wednesday to review funding requests for the Conference Fund and the Sawyer Fund.

Please contact the VP of Finance with any questions or concerns.

The House Presidents' Association (HPA) is composed of house presidents from all Smith houses that are self-governing. It is dedicated to improving the house community experience—a unique part of student life and a tradition specific to Smith. The HPA addresses both the fun and serious aspects of the Smith house community, representing its interests to the SGA and the college administration. The house presidents are elected by an all-house election in each house. The HPA elects its chair and vice chair.

For current house contact information, please visit the house page on the Smith Social Network.

Please contact the House Presidents' Association Chair with any questions or concerns.

The Chartering Committee is responsible for guiding new organizations through the SGA recognizing and chartering process. The committee advises organizations and provides sample charters and assistance with revising a new or existing organization’s charter. After advising, the Chartering Committee votes on and provides feedback for an organization’s charter. To learn more about how to charter or recognize a student organization, visit the “Charter an Organization” tab above to get started.

Recognized Organizations

Receive all the benefits of being a Smith College Organization, except for the ability to apply for funding from the Finance Committee. Recognized organizations have their own email accounts, presence on the Smith Social Network, access to 25Live, a table at the Involvement Fair, and the ability to fundraise. After an organization’s first two semesters, Recognized Organizations are able to apply to become Chartered. Organizations hoping to become recognized do not have to present or be voted on by the Senate.

Chartered Organizations

Receive all of the benefits of being a Smith College Organization, including the ability to apply for a full budget from the Finance Committee after one year as a Chartered Organization. Organizations requesting to be Chartered must present in front of SGA Senate.

Mission Statement:
The Sustainability Committee is responsible for identifying and supervising the implementation of various sustainable initiatives on campus. It serves as a primary resource for organizations seeking to address sustainability issues by maintaining open and functional channels of communication between those organizations, the SGA, the Smith administration, and the general Smith community. The Committee organizes sustainability programs that connect environmentalism to economics, politics, and culture.

General Committee Goals:
To continually improve and innovate Smith College's sustainability efforts at the campus level and the institutional level.

To facilitate conversation and collaboration among environmental organizations and representatives on campus.

Specific Goals for this Semester:

  • Find alternatives to certain packaging and utensils that are not compostable within dining halls and cafes. 
  • Cooperate with the Food Rescue Network to reduce food waste on campus. 

  • Create an initiative to implement compost bins outside

  • Add a mandatory module (or make a Moodle page) to improve the awareness of composting on campus.

  • Produce and distribute clear and concise signs that indicate what can and can not be composted, creating lasting awareness for all class years to follow. 

  • Facilitate effective categorizing by improving the waste disposal system within campus buildings.

  • Create a document that lists historical actions, regarding sustainability, for future reference.

  • Support organizations that share our goals and values.

Please contact the Sustainability Committee with any questions or concerns.


There are two types of funding available for students through the SGA. The Conference Fund is allocated each year by the SGA Cabinet from the current SGA budget. This fund is to assist students attend conferences off campus.

The Sawyer Fund is an endowed fund for events held on the Smith College campus that are free and open to the community.

Fall 2023 Funding

Students applying for 2023-24 funding should use the 2023-24 Universal Conference Fund Application to apply for individual student conference funding and the Fall 2023 SGA Funding Application to apply for organization funding, organization conference funding and Sawyer Funding. Both forms are available under forms on the Smith Social Network.

Five College Funding

Additional funding can be found through Five College Funding for student events and lecture opportunities.

Chartered Organizations Funding

All chartered organizations can apply for all funding through the SGA Funding Application. 

Chartered organizations that would like to attend a conference as a part of the organization may apply for the Organization Conference Funding, also on the SGA Funding Application. Organizations are limited to four students if the conference includes hotel accommodations and seven for day conferences where no overnight accommodations are necessary. 

SGA Budget

The operating budget for the Student Government Association comes out of the Student Activities Fee, which is a part of every student’s tuition.

The Operating Budget briefly describes each SGA account; how much money each account was allocated last year; how much money each account spent last year; and how much money the SGA has allocated for the current year. Open the Student Government Association 2022–23 Budget (PDF).

Any questions regarding the SGA budget should be directed to the vice president of finance.

Student Vehicle Usage

Smith College has a pool of Facilities Management vehicles that student groups and houses can reserve. If you have questions or concerns, please contact or 413-585-4950.

Smith College has a pool of Facilities Management vehicles that student groups and houses can reserve.

All student drivers must adhere to the following policies:

  • Vehicles must only be used for approved Smith student organization/house programs and events
  • There must be two certified drivers per vehicle
  • Maximum of two vehicles for any one event
  • Not for emergency or personal use
  • May be used to carry passengers only; they are not intended for hauling equipment or other property

If you have questions or concerns, please contact or 413-585-4950.

Report an Accident

Eligibility Requirements

  • Student at Smith College
  • Valid U.S. driver's license issued from the United States or U.S. territories
  • At least 18 years old
  • At least one year's driving experience, either in the United States or internationally


Drivers may not have had:

  • More than two accidents in past three years
  • Any Type A violations in past three years
  • Any combination of accidents and Type B violations more than two in past three years

Credentialing is good for one academic year and will expire on August 15, 2023.  Students wishing to use college vehicles must re-credential each year.

Step 1: Register Your Driving Credentials

  • Go to the Five Colleges Driver Credentialing website
  • Read the Driver Minimum Requirements
  • Read the Driver Agreement to Terms and Conditions, Rules and Regulations
  • Go to the top of the page to Quick Links, click on "Start the credentialing process"
  • Fill out the "Online Driver Credentialing Form" (driver's license information)

Step 2: Review the Online Vehicle Training Presentation

You are responsible for reviewing all of the information contained in this presentation and will be held accountable.

Step 3: Online Defensive Driving Presentation and Quiz

Read the instructions below on how to access the Driver Safety Fundamentals and quiz. You must complete and get a passing score of 80 percent*.

Defensive Driving Certification Instructions

*The SGA office runs a report to show who has taken the quiz and the score received.

Step 4: Reserving Your Van

You may not reserve a van through the Smith Social Network until all your drivers have been fully certified to drive. To reserve a van, go to the events tab under your organization or house and "create an event". The type of event you are choosing is Van Request unless you are reserving a van as part of a larger event.

Step 5: Canceling Your Van Reservation

In the event that your reservation needs to be cancelled, please send an email to BOTH and letting them know that you will not be using the van.  Students and organizations that do not cancel their reservations in advance will have their vehicle use privileges revoked.




Student Government

Campus Center Lower Level
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-4950
Office Hours

Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.