The 2023 student government class smiling for a composite photo.

Student Government Association

Do you see yourself as a leader amongst your peers? Make an impact on campus by running for student government. Through cooperation and leadership the Student Government Association  promotes the best interests of students and the university.

What is Student Government Association (SGA)?

As the liaison between students, administration, faculty and the South Dakota Board of Regents, Student Government Association (SGA) works to enhance communication, understanding and cooperation throughout the university.

One of the responsibilities of SGA is to allocate money each year to student organizations that provide cultural, recreational, educational and social opportunities outside of the classroom. At the same time, we work with university faculty, administration and students to address important campus issues. Contact us to learn how you can be involved with SGA at

Contact Us

Student Government Association 
Muenster University Center Room 143 
414 E. Clark St. 
Vermillion SD 57069

About Us

Learn more about the Student Government Association at USD.
Do you have questions about SGA or want to learn how you can become part of this impactful student organization? Feel free to contact one of our executive team members.

President: Caleb Swanson

Caleb Swanson, a senior, double major in Sustainability and Political Science and minor in biology. He is also a member of USD’s Honors program and competes for the University’s Men’s Swim Team. This will be Caleb’s third year serving on Student Government Association, having previously served as an at-large senator and a senator for the College of Arts and Sciences. Caleb’s other community involvements include serving as the President of USD’s Environmental Club and as the Secretary of the non-profit Greening Vermillion. While passionate about sustainability and making USD a more sustainable place, he is also passionate about advancing efforts to make USD a more welcoming and supportive institution for all.

Vice President: Libby Brust

Libby Brust, a sophomore, double major in Medical Biology and International Studies. She was elected as Vice President after first serving as a senator for the College of Arts & Sciences, and then as the Director of Communications. Libby is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and also works with local preschoolers as an intern at the UCC. She is a research assistant in the biology department and also ski races for USD in the winter. Her main goals for her term as VP are to advocate for student needs and concerns and build an inclusive campus environment where all students feel valuable, connected, and supported.

Director of Communications: RyLeigh Christopherson

RyLeigh Christopherson, a senior, double major in Legal Studies and Criminal Justice. Along with being the Director of Communications she is the President of USD’s Pre-Law Society and is a member of the Mock Trial and Model United Nations teams. RyLeigh’s goal for this term is to facilitate communication between SGA and the student population to ensure that student voices are heard and to make sure that students can access information that is important to them.

Director of Finance: Trevor Sinclair

Trevor Sinclair, a senior, double major in Economics and Operational Analytics. In addition to serving as the Director of Finance, Trevor has held leadership positions in the Coyote Crazies, Dakota Days Executive Committee, and Delta Sigma Pi. Along with his leadership, he competes with the Men's Swim & Dive team, winning a team Summit League Championship in 2021. He specializes in management, analysis, and forecasting. Conducting projects with the South Dakota Bureau of Land Management, Old Dominion Freight, and Fernson Brewing Company. Trevor aims to improve communication regarding budgeting and finances from SGA to student organizations and the USD community at large.

Director of Operations: Grace DuVall

Grace DuVall, a senior, double major in International Studies and Anthropology. She has served as a senator of the College of Arts & Sciences and President Pro Tempore. Outside of SGA, Grace is a resident assistant and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She is also the president of Honors Association and is working on her honors thesis. Grace's goal for this term is to ensure SGA runs smoothly and efficiently so that student desires can be met, and senator goals are achieved.

Your Senators 

  • College of Arts & Sciences
    • Jordan Christensen 
    • Halle Johnson
    • Maddi Lehman
    • Griffin Petersen
  • Beacom School of Business
    • Connor Drahota
    • Dawson Johnson
    • Julia Platt
  • College of Fine Arts
    • Josh Styskal
  • School of Law
    • Kelsey Monteiro
  • At-Large Student Body Representatives
    • Keegan Baker
    • Rachel Beare
    • Madelyn Blaser
    • Piper Connelly
    • Mady Fleckenstein
    • Ethan Gladue
    • Samantha Kunze
    • Sam Markley
    • Max Mickelson
    • Mohamed Mohamed
    • Waverly Patterson
    • Samuel Rabern
    • Hailey Reisner
    • Delaney Robison 
    • Mosammat Rumana Sultana
    • Kacy Tubbs

Standing Committees

Dawson Johnson,

The Finance Committee recommends action to the full senate on all SGA special appropriations - money appropriated after the spring budget process. The committee also recommends approval or disapproval of requested reallocation of funds within student organization accounts.

Government Affairs
Ethan Gladue,

The Government Affairs committee is responsible for building community and university relations, maintaining contact with alumni, communicating with the South Dakota Student Federation, and handling issues related to Board of Regents meetings.

Internal Review
Maddi Lehman,

The Student Affairs Committee is responsible for ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of student services, maintaining positive relationships between SGA and the Office of Student Life, reviewing student organization constitutions, and working with student organizations to gain recognition and funding.

Student Affairs
Halle Johnson,

The Internal Review Committee is responsible for identifying and communicating student concerns to the student judicial process, reviewing all amendments to the constitution and bylaws, and holding our members accountable.

Documents, Agendas & Minutes 

SGA's bills and resolutions, governing documents, meeting agendas and minutes can be accessed through the SGA's public Google Drive. If you have any issues accessing the drive, contact the SGA office at or 605-658-3584.

View SGA's Google Drive

Reimbursement Process

  1. Save and sign your receipt(s). If the receipt is for food then you must have a sign-in sheet to track who was at your event.
  2. Print out reimbursement form
  3. Fill out/follow directions on the form
  4. If you are not on university payroll and/or have never received a reimbursement before, please fill out a W-9. If you are on payroll or have received a reimbursement before, you may skip this step.
  5. Attach receipt to form(s) and W-9 (if necessary)
  6. Bring documents to SGA Office - MUC 143. If someone is at the desk, ask them to get it to the business manager. If no one is there please place your documents on the front desk. If the door is locked, please slide your documents under the front door.
  7. Expect the reimbursement process to take 1-2 weeks if you are already in the system. If you are filling out a W-9 for the first time, expect the reimbursement process to take 2-3 weeks.

Please reach out to our Director of Finance, Trevor Sinclair at

The University of South Dakota has more than 170 student organizations that are officially recognized by the Student Government Association. Student organizations are based on, centered around, led, governed and directed by students. These organizations make a difference in the lives of students by creating a connection to campus, the community and their peers. Student organizations on campus are based on an array of topics, interests and fields of study.

The large number of organizations allows students to connect with a group of peers with similar interests. When coupled with the dedication of its student members, the campus culture is greatly enriched. Student organizations have a real and profound effect on the university and the outside world through their vision, goals and accomplishments.

Explore Student Organizations

Starting a New Student Organization

To register an organization on campus:

  1. Visit USD Involved to fill out a registration application.
    1. Click on Register an Organization, then Register a New Organization (at bottom of page) and follow the 7 steps in the registration process. You will need a constitution and the USD email address for 5 members and 1 faculty/staff advisor to complete this form. Once this is completed, the Student Services Staff will review your submission and you will receive notice of the organizations approval. 
    2. Please note, if you are interested in starting a social fraternity or sorority, please contact the Office of Sorority/Fraternity Life ( Do not submit social fraternity and sorority registrations via USD Involved.
  2. Once these steps have been completed, SGA will then review the application information and determine if the organization is funding eligible. Once declared funding eligible, they may apply for funding with SGA during the regular budget period.

Organizations determined to be a club sport must be active for one year before applying for funding. Funding for these organizations is provided by campus recreation.

Organizational Review

Each organization will be reviewed every 3 years by the SGA Student and Internal Affairs Committee. The review is to assess if the organization is operating consistently with the way it was intended and to assist with any problems the organization may be having. If an organization chooses not to participate, their privileges may be revoked.

Budget Process

Only recognized, funding-eligible organizations are eligible to participate in the budget process. All organizations must send a representative to the Leadership Development Seminar each spring to remain eligible for SGA funding. Budget hearings for the organizations will be held in early April. 

The Green Initiative Fund gives USD students the opportunity to enhance our campus by implementing innovative projects that reduce waste, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and motivate continued progress toward a sustainable campus environment. The fund helps provide support and guidance for students who want to make a lasting impact on campus. All ideas are encouraged and all students are welcome to apply. Submit any project ideas you may have for the Green Initiative Fund on Coyote One Stop.

What is the Green Initiative Fund? 

The Green Initiative Fund addresses challenges facing our planet by granting students financial resources to make long-lasting environmental improvements on campus. The fund gives students the opportunity to learn project planning and implementation skills while generating ideas, pride, and momentum to inspire further action in our community.

The President’s Joint Committee on Sustainability reviews all project proposals and makes recommendations on how to award the funds. SGA senators serving on the Committee bring the recommendations to the full SGA Senate, and then Senate votes on the final decision. Multiple projects may receive funding each application cycle. Funds are to be used within a single fiscal year: July 1st through the last day of the spring semester final exam period.

How did the Green Initiative Fund start?

The Student Government Association (SGA) started the Green Initiative Fund (GIF) in April 2016, and the first funds were spent in fiscal year 2017 to start the campus bike share program.

How much is the Green Initiative Fund?

Each spring semester, SGA allocates funds to the GIF through the annual budget process, which requires the full SGA Senate to pass a bill approving the SGA budget for the fiscal year beginning in July. The Senate typically allocates $5,000 to the GIF, but the amount can vary. These funds come from the General Activity Fee (GAF) paid by students.

Who can apply?

  • USD enrolled students. Full-time, part-time, undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. Working in teams is encouraged, though one student should identify as the main contact for the GIF.
  • USD registered student organizations. (To register a new student organization, please visit

What types of projects can be funded?

  • We are looking for projects that:
    • Measurably reduce USD’s carbon footprint and/or waste into the future.
    • Involve a visible component.
  • We encourage partnering with an established campus office or department.
  • All else being equal, we prefer projects that benefit people and areas of campus that have benefited least from environmental improvements in the past.
  • Ineligible Projects:
    • Speakers
    • Films
    • Awards, Gifts, Scholarships

Examples of past projects include:

  • Campus bike share program
  • Recycling & landfill bins for residence hall rooms

Examples of future projects include:

Propose a Project 

Students have the opportunity to apply for the Green Initiative Fund in both the Fall and the Spring semester. Start by submitting a pre-proposal. Selected pre-proposals will be given feedback and asked to submit a full project proposal for consideration. Please see the timeline for deadlines. 

Propose a Project Here

More Questions?

Email questions to

Run for Senate

SGA Senate Elections are no longer open.

If you are interested in running for senate in the future, please refer to the step-by-step process below.

1. Determine your college

Your college is dependent on your major. If you have two majors in different colleges, you can choose the college in which you want to run. Undecided majors must run in the College of Arts and Sciences.

2. Determine the number of petition signatures you will need

Consult the table below to see the number of available seats in each college and the number of signatures you need to be eligible to run. Download the election petition form or pick one up in the SGA office. 

Download the Election Petition Form

College Number of Seats Signatures Required
College of Arts & Sciences 8 75
Beacom School of Business 3 34
School of Education 3 30
College of Fine Arts 1 30
School of Health Sciences 5 55
Law School 1 30
Sanford School of Medicine 1 30
3. Get Signatures

Signatures must be from students in your college. Collecting signatures in the library is prohibited; collecting signatures within a classroom requires the professor's permission and an explanation of what the petition regards.

Signature petition forms are due at 5 p.m. on February 15th in the SGA office (MUC 143).

4. Campaign.

Voting begins March 7 and ends March 8 at 5 p.m. Students may cast their vote via the myUSDportal.

Any Questions? Email or stop by the SGA Office MUC 143.

Student Legal Aid

The Student Government Association funds a local attorney to assist with student legal needs. Student legal aid is available for all current students attending the University of South Dakota. Legal aid services are provided by Austin Felts, attorney at law. You can contact Austin at or 605-777-7606.

Campus Hours

Consultations are available Monday and Wednesday 3 - 5 p.m. in MUC 219 F or by appointment.


Student Government Association members posing for a photo.

Follow Us on Social Media 

You can like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest updates from SGA.

get involved

Success story Christian Skunk smiling.
One of my favorite memories at USD was being apart of the Student Government Association and going to Students for Higher Education Days in Pierre as well as Board of Regent Meetings. It was great to have met so many people. 

Christian Skunk

M.A. Public Administration '21
B.S. Political Science, '19
Public Relations Director, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
Lower Brule, SD

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