Western Carolina’s Student Government Association has jumped into the new semester with new resolutions and an initiative to listen to the student voice at WCU.
Ryan Hemance, Service Learning Senator, and Ricky Greene, Academic Senator, are collaborating together to build a resolution that will establish a Service Corps program at WCU. The Service Corps will connect students with volunteer opportunities within the local community and operate as a registered student organization under a branch of SGA.
The individuals involved in trying to make this project a reality met on Jan. 20 in order to discuss specific projects where they would like to see students get involved. Anja Nothdurft, Environmental Senator, discussed the possibility of “Adopt a Highway.” Other Jackson County service learning opportunities are The Community Table and Habitat for Humanity. The Service Corps would also work with The Service Learning Department in order to gain more potential volunteer opportunities.
“We hope that The Service Corps will grow to be a popular on-campus organization so that WCU can play its part in the community and better our university’s image with locals,” Hermance said.
Greene also drafted a resolution last semester to give a higher GPA weight for an A+. After researching what other universities do in the UNC System, Greene felt that WCU needed to adapt a 4.333 weight to A+. Currently WCU does not recognize a difference between an A and an A+. Both grades have a 4.0 GPA weight.
This resolution passed in SGA senate with approval from Student Body President TJ Eaves, Student Body Vice President Alecia Paige and Dr. Brian Railsback, Dean of the Honors College. The resolution will now be discussed in the Faculty Senate headed by Dr. Erin McNeils in February. If passed by the Faculty Senate, WCU will adopt the 4.333 GPA weight for an A+ for the 2012/2013 Academic Year.
SGA has also launched a website, wheelisten.wordpress.com, to serve as a new, electronic forum where students can voice their concerns, comments and questions about Western Carolina University. SGA recognized that students need this outlet after the No Administrators Student Forum last semester.
Whee Listen supplies students with a safe and effective place to have their voice heard by the SGA Executive Council, SGA Advisor Karen Farmer and other members of the WCU staff. These offices and individuals review all submissions and respond to any questions or complaints made by students. Eaves said that he takes these concerns and comments to Upper Administration to represent the voice of the students.
Eaves gave his State of the University Address on Jan. 31 live on TV62. This speech was the first ever, live broadcast by TV62. In his speech Eaves outlined accomplishments achieved so far in his term. Eaves discussed tuition and fees, the instillation of WCU’s new Chancellor, Dr. David Belcher, and SGA elections. Further coverage of Eave’s State of the University Address will be in The Western Carolinian’s next issue.
When asked about her experience and opinion on SGA’s status this year, SGA Student Body Vice President Paige said, “This Student Government has restored my faith in the political process as a whole; students vote, positions are filled, representatives work with their constituents and changes happen. There is, of course, always room for improvement, and we are attempting to adapt to the changes of the University—to reflect the needs and desires of our student body. I hope that the students of Western Carolina University will join us in our efforts to improve the quality and the overall experience of the University.”
If students are interested in getting involved with SGA or would like more information on the SGA Senate, they can email the Senate at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students can also post their questions or comments on wheelisten.wordpress.com.