PORT ARTHUR – All along, Claire Thomason thought the way she and the Student Government Association at Lamar State College-Port Arthur did things was just how it was done by everyone.
An article published in a national magazine this month begs to differ.
“Campus Activities Magazine”, a publication primarily featuring campus entertainment offerings, published a story about the LSC-PA group in this month’s magazine, which goes out to more than 4,300 college and university subscribers across the nation.
“This is huge because this offers our students the recognition they so deserve,” said Thomason, director of Student Activities at LSC-PA. “They work so hard to make sure that everything they are doing goes as planned and benefits everyone on this campus.”
The college’s SGA is a member of the National Association of Campus Activities and travels to conventions and leadership conferences with NACA during the year. Among the many offerings at NACA conventions is a myriad of entertainment options for student leaders to consider for their own campus.
What captured the attention of the CAM trade magazine was the uniqueness of Lamar State-Port Arthur’s melding of student government and student activities, something that rarely take place elsewhere.
“SGA and Student Activities works together to accomplish one common goal,” Thomason said. “I never knew it was any different until I started going to some of the conventions and seeing what other schools do. I found out what we do is unique. I’ve already received several emails and phone calls from other colleges asking how our program works.”
Listing all the activities undertaken by the SGA and Student Activities is expansive for sure. Among the major projects each year are Welcome Week events each day of the first week of each long semester, Seahawks Spirit Rallies throughout the year, leadership training, Cultural Day celebrations, the annual Spring Fling and the honoring of Black History Month.
The SGA also works hand in hand with the 15 various student organizations across the campus, helping them each to reach their own goals of participation and leadership training.
“Student Government on most campuses is set up as primarily a governing body,” Thomason said. “SGA might allocate funding but they don’t ordinarily have anything to do with the programming side. They just don’t participate directly in campus activities.”
On any given day at LSC-PA, students might find a magician on stage in the Student Center, a special giveaway or other popular activities such as a photo booth or make-your-own-t-shirt offering. Students can almost always find popcorn or sno-cones available free of charge as they pass through the Student Center between classes.
“We utilize a lot of the things on campus that we already have and also try to bring in some local talent,” Thomason told Kirby. “But probably half the things we have seen at conferences or from booking through agencies we are familiar with.”
Ultimately, the goal of everything done by the SGA and Student Activities is to benefit the greater need of not only the general student population but those involved in the groups putting on the events.
“It’s so neat to see our SGA members when they are first elected and to watch as they grow through their term,” Thomason said. “The progress they make in their leadership, organizational and overall life skills is amazing.
“Watching students grow and reach their goals is what this is all about anyway.”