SGA President Eaves gives State of the University address

The last day of January was a significant day for both Western’s Student Body Government and TV62. TV62 prepared the Old Student Union for its first ever live broadcast, whichwas of Student Body President TJ Eaves’ State of the University address.

Before the address, there were three interviews given by Student Body Vice President Alecia Paige; Senator for Service Learning Ryan Hermance; and Director of PR and Marketing Lauren Gray. Each briefly described what they were working on either on campus or statewide.

Paige discussed her “Cuts Hurt” program that enables North Carolina university students to film themselves explaining how the budget cuts to education have negatively affected them. The program has gained support by N.C. Governor Bev Purdue, and it has been picked up by other N.C. universities. Hermance discussed his proposed Service Corps, and organization to allow students opportunities for service learning. Gray gave more information on Whee Listen, the online forum where WCU students can voice any comments, questions, or concerns they have about Western issues. The postings are then taken to Upper Administration to try and work on any possible solution.

The camera then transitioned to Eaves’s State of the University address. Eaves began with the looming issue on all WCU students’ minds: budget cuts and tuition increases. Eaves outlined the process that determines tuition and fee increases, and as a result of student forums, tuition will be increasing, and the proposed budget has been approved by WCU, including Eaves, and sent to the state for further approval.

Eaves then formally introduced Dr. David O. Belcher as WCU’s new chancellor. He spoke about upcoming SGA elections and the importance of the student voice.

“I commend each student who came to a forum, expressed their concern to an SGA member, and the near 400 students who attended the Cuts Hurt event,” Eaves said. “You were a vital role in this entire process.”

When asked if he had anything else he would like to say or reiterate from his speech to the student body at WCU, Eaves said, “I would like to thank each student who has taken a chance to voice their opinions about campus issues to members of SGA and myself. Without your input, it is impossible for me to adequately complete the tasks that are required from my position as Student Body President. I am very proud to serve as your Student Body President, and I look forward to continuing to advocate for the student body this semester.”