The Student Government Association (SGA) is planning many activities for the student body for the end of the semester, particularly dealing with how to get students to voice their opinions.
Forums will be held in the University Center for students to attend and tell the SGA and university officials what they would like to see from their university. The first was held on Nov. 22 to talk about who should be selected as the new chancellor. All students were welcome to attend and give voice on the successor of Dr. John W. Bardo.
Another forum will take place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 29. This forum will discuss the proper attire of graduation. There has recently been a ban of personal decoration on caps and gowns, specifically Greek letters. The SGA feels that banning the social Greek letter while athletes will wear their letters is discriminatory. The SGA invites the graduating seniors to let their opinions be known at the forum.
On Dec. 7, Residential Living will host a forum for first-semester freshmen to talk about dorm living. Students will be encouraged to say what should change, what could be added, and what should be removed completely to better their living circumstances.
Recently passed in legislation was the longboarding issue. The Senate has approved longboarding on campus. Now the issue has been passed onto the university officials for the final approval. Other legislation includes the idea of getting Hunter Library drop boxes on lower campus. This would be an expensive venture, but everyone is hoping it will succeed.
Viewed as “the voice of the student body,” the SGA traveled to UNC-Asheville for the Association of SGA. It is a monthly meeting of all the universities’ SGA’s where they discuss the problems of the schools. November’s major discussion was about the budget cuts “primarily,” according to Jared Hopkins, vice president of Western Carolina’s SGA. Hopkins explained that Western’s SGA received and talked about a tuition and fees packet from Chancellor Bardo at their Nov. 22 meeting. What they discussed there transferred over to the Association meeting at UNC-A where the students discussed which departments and programs should get more funding.
Unfortunately, the SGA is having some difficulty getting student opinions they need for their meetings with the Association. The forums are supposed to help with the issue and get students involved. There is also OrgSync, a networking website for students and organizations. It helps organize communication among organizations and there is a calendar so students can easily see what is going on and when.
On the UC lawn, there will be a problems box in December where a student can anonymously submit a comment or complaint about Western Carolina University.
“By holding forums,” said Hopkins, “…a lot of people have a problem embracing others when voicing an opinion. It’ll give a more real standpoint… no boundaries at all.”
The SGA hopes that through the problems box, silent students will come forward and let the SGA fully become “the voice of the students.”
If you would like to get more involved with student government, can visit their page on the school’s website at http://www.wcu.edu/12720.asp and follow links to their Facebook and Twitter page along with their YouTube channel where President Daniel Dorsey makes videos to keep the Catamounts updated on what is happening at their university.