SGA President tackles tuition, grading, campus safety

 Newly elected Student Government Association President Ryan Hermance and Vice President Jack Stewart plan to tackle rising tuition costs, fair grading and a safer campus for the students at Western Carolina University during their term.

“Our first priority is tuition costs and we, my vice president and I, are serving on a tuition increase committee trying to keep tuition costs low for our students,” said Hermance.

Currently, Western Carolina’s students, pay about $4,061 for just tuition, according to That figure does not include housing and food costs.

According to, Tom Ross, president of the UNC system, proposed another 4.2 percent tuition increase for the 2013-2014 academic school year as a response to the North Carolina Governor’s proposed budget cuts.

Hermance and his administration plan to tackle this potential tuition increase head on to ensure that Western Carolina maintains its appeal.

“We will work as hard as we can to keep Western Carolina University one of the most affordable schools in the University system,” said Hermance.

According to Hermance, the next initiative on the itinerary is to address campus safety.

According to the most recent information published on the Western Carolina website, the three most common reported crimes are forcible sex offenses, burglary, and drug and alcohol offenses.

Published on this site are records dated back to 2011, and overall crime has fallen but only by a small margin. The 2012-2013 safety information has not been published yet.

“We are meeting with several school administrators to make campus a safer place,” said Hermance.

The last big ticket item on his list of initiatives is to address and move forward the “A+ Resolution.” The grade of “A” carries the same weight as the “A+,” which is a 4.0. Ryan and his Academic Senator Ricky Greene have written a proposal to challenge the current regulations.

According to their written proposal, they suggest that the “A+” carry a 4.333 GPA to offset the “A-,” which currently carries a GPA of 3.667.

Ryan would like to extend his gratitude to his electorate and would like them to know that he will work hard to serve them.

Election Senator Larissa Caps said, “I feel like this year’s elections were a lot more publicized and [had] a huge increase of candidates that ran this year.”

According to Caps, last year’s election ballot only listed ten candidates. This year’s election Ballot listed nearly 50.

According to the Western Carolina website, WCU currently has 9,608 students enrolled. According to Caps, of the enrolled students, 1,487 voted in this year’s SGA elections. Of the 1,487 students who voted, 276 were freshman, 350 were sophomores, 326 were juniors, 280 were seniors and 222 were not categorized with a specific class. That comes to about 15 percent of the student population. That is a significant increase from last year’s voters that barely exceeded 1,000.