Daniel Dorsey, president of the Student Government Association (SGA), is focusing his efforts on one main thing this school year: getting involved.
The Western Carolina administration wants their students, particularly freshmen, to enjoy their school year and come back for more. They are relying on SGA to make that true.
“The main thing is retention,” said Dorsey, lounging on the University Center porch. “Get involved! …You make friends and they kind of become a support group.”
Students can run for Senate, apply for a position in the executive and judicial branches of SGA, and become involved in activities, like the Tuck River Clean-up and the spring leadership conference. For more involvement, students are encouraged to help the SGA put together their programs and activities.
Other areas the SGA is focusing on include becoming a proactive governing body like approving long boarding on campus. Recently, students have been complaining that campus police have been stopping them from long boarding, accusing them of “skateboarding.” Dorsey, however, saw the positive side of long boarding as a form of transportation instead of a hobby that could cause property damage due to overzealous tricks like skateboarding. Dorsey has been talking to some fellow state university SGA presidents to get their feedback on how to go about the best way of getting long boarding approved.
Transportation means to the new health building being constructed near Laural Oaks Apartments is also being considered. Will the CatTrans now travel across Highway 107? Could the CatTrans become bigger buses? Will sidewalks be installed?
“We have to look at it because we have to face it,” stated Dorsey.
On the dark side of things are the budget cuts. However, Dorsey had a bright outlook on less funding.
“It’s a blessing in disguise. In the past, we were subsidizing funding for a lot of activities,” explained Dorsey. “We don’t have the funds we used to…”
Now, Dorsey said that the less funding means programs who want to put on activities for students have to go out, get “life experience, and get involved in the community” to make their programs happen like with fundraiser car washes. SGA plans to meet clubs and organizations halfway on their funding requests, but Dorsey insists it is a positive “opportunity” to go out and get the funding on one’s own.
The SGA is available for every student. Their webpage on Western Carolina’s website will link students to their Twitter page, Facebook page, and YouTube channel where President Dorsey gives a weekly address to his fellow students.
“We’re here working for you,” he said.