The Student Government Association at WCU is ready for change this year. With new leadership in Student Body President TJ Eaves, Vice President Alecia Page and a new Senate of 13 members, things around the office and around campus will quickly change.
SGA has quite a few new goals this year. Eaves’ top three goals are narrowing the gap between students and upper administration, working to make SGA more visible to students and making sure students know what SGA is doing and supporting and collaborating with departments and organizations. Page’s top goal is to get to know students better and to have a closer bond with students.
Eaves plans to narrow the gap between students and the upper administration by having a closer relationship with administrators so SGA can take students’ concerns to the top of the ladder.
” New Chancellor Belcher is very interested in student input, and I am extremely excited to see what all he has planned for this University. I have had the opportunity to spend some time with him this summer and it is clearly apparent that he is a great leader who is wanting to have student involvement in the decision making process,” said Eaves.
Since a lot of students do not know what SGA is or what SGA does, Eaves and Page plan to change that this year by being at more events on campus, by hosting and sponsoring more events, by listening to student concerns more and by regularly handing out information to students about SGA. Another new thing SGA will have is a comment box on campus so students can leave their comments, concerns and questions for SGA in the box. The questions and concerns will be checked and addressed every week.
“In years past, SGA has done some great things, but the visibility of SGA has been so low in the past that no one noticed the work they were putting in,” Eaves said. “As President, I plan on being easily accessible to students. If anyone has something they would like SGA to address they can approach me at anytime or contact me on Facebook. My agenda is created by knowing what the student body’s concerns are, and in order to know their concerns, I’ll need them to tell me,” said Eaves.
Eave’s last major goal is supporting and collaborating with other departments and organizations on campus.
“In a time of budget cuts, it is important to make sure that the student experience is not what is being sacrificed. A portion of student fees is what makes up SGA’s budget. So we will be looking at ways to use that money to increase the quality of student life. We will be collaborating with lots of departments such as Athletics and Development, as well as many organizations such as LMP and Greek Life,” explained Eaves.
For Page, she also wants SGA to also be more visible amongst students and for SGA to have a closer bond with the student body. With only ten percent of the student body voting in the last election, Page says it is time for SGA to prove its worth to the students it represents.
“SGA has a responsibility to help students of WCU voice their opinions in regards to recent budget cuts. When students understand the power of their vote and their voice, they will act, they will succeed and they will change their university and their state,” said Page.
Page is starting a new SGA project this year called “Cuts Hurt.” This new project will educate students about the budget cuts and will give students the opportunity to film a video of themselves explaining to NC representatives how budget cuts have affected them and our campus.
“Students can openly and honestly express how these budget cuts are affecting their day-to-day lives and how they believe the cuts will affect their education and qualifications as a worker in the long run,” Page said. “Students can also write a letter if a less personal method is preferred.”
It is going to be a busy, but productive year for SGA. If you want to get involved with SGA, visit the SGA website at sga.wcu.edu for contact information and ways to get involved.
“Not only do I want to leave SGA better than it was when I took office in April, I want to people to look back and say in the 2011-2012 school year, SGA left this university better than we found it,” Eaves said. “I love everything about Western Carolina University and plan on devoting my term as president to better the University as a whole, as well as its students.”