SGA hopefuls contend image needs to change

Paul Myers announced his candidacy for president of the student body March 4, laying out his plan to create a new student lobbying organization, a student government that represents students and an altogether better Northern Kentucky University.

“Student representation needs to represent students,” Myers, a member of NKU Students First, said, criticizing the Student Government Association for not seriously examining NKU’s academics.

He also fears that many do not give some groups, such as international or black students, the respect they deserve and become marginalized.

“Their voice isn’t heard as it should be,” Myers said.

Joshua Kinney is running alongside him for the office of executive vice president and shares his concerns, including the rising cost of tuition.

“It’s inevitable,” Kinney said about the increase, but he praised NKU President James Votruba, saying, “I’m glad he got it into the single digits.”

Myers agreed that the cost must go up, saying that inflation forces the university to raise its price. However, he still sees the increase as excessive. “Inflation is only 4 or 5 percent more. But we’ve had double-digit increases,” Myers said, noting that he hopes state funding will replace the tuition hikes. Myers also hopes to replace the image of SGA in the eyes of the student body.

Michael Tobergta has noticed that some students, even some SGA members, feel that SGA “is just a joke.”

But Tobergta and Myers hope to change that. They also hope, with the help of the student lobbyists, to change what they see as unfair tuition hikes and the biased plus-minus grading system.

Kinney said that a lobbying organization could formed by getting “personal” with students. He intends to put up fliers as well as talk to students individually. “You gain friends that way who’ll support you,” Kinney said.

Tobergta thinks the students are ready and willing to build such an organization, but haven’t yet because they “don’t have the leaders.”

Liz Osborne, who is campaigning for vice president of public relations, plans to educate NKU about its student government. “Do you know who SGA is? You will after I’m done,” Osborne said.

The recent construction and resultant obstruction also concern Osborne, who worries that some students may be cut off from certain parts of campus. She mentioned one friend who could not reach the Albright Health Center after construction blocked all handicapped paths.

“She could have sued NKU,” Osborne said.

All candidates expressed disapproval for the plus-minus grading system.

“It hurts the honors program,” Osborne said, adding that it “only helps C and D students.”

Kinney understands that the new system will raise the grades of average students. But that doesn’t justify it, especially as NKU students “have all these resources to improve their grades.”

“I’d like to ask them why they get low grades,” Kinney said. The SGA elections will be held April 12 and April 13.