SGA turns focus to elections, fall changes

While construction and detours have already created obstacles on Northern Kentucky University’s campus, commuters will face a new challenge April 20 – a roundabout. The typically European route will soon become a fixture on NKU’s campus, taking shape at the intersection of Nunn and University drives.

Dr. Mark Shanley, vice president of Student Affairs, said University Drive will shut down in late April and reopen before the start of fall classes. He said there would likely be continuous traffic jams for drivers coming in and out of the Bank of Kentucky Arena from the interstate, and the roundabout would alleviate some of the congestion.

“It will be particularly exciting for us to learn how to drive in a roundabout – especially during the first week of classes,” Shanley said.

Roadway changes were just one of many topics discussed March 19 at the Student Government Association meeting. Upcoming SGA elections, housing and the free expression policy were also considered.

SGA spring elections will be held April 11 and 12 in the University Center. Ninety students have requested applications, but currently only 15 candidates have submitted the paperwork required to run in the elections. SGA emphasized that all applications must be submitted by April 2.

SGA President Josh Ruth discussed housing issues that currently plague NKU. Lakeside Manor, the former nursing home NKU was poised to purchase, may no longer be the answer for increased student housing, Ruth said.

According to Liz Osborne, SGA vice president of public relations, House Bill 1 needs to be amended in order for NKU to have the bonding authority to buy Lakeside Manor.

Ruth encouraged his fellow SGA members to contact Northern Kentucky state legislators with requests to review the bill.

“This is a serious housing concern,” Ruth said. The housing department has already reserved 50 rooms at a local hotel to relieve some of the burden for the first month of the fall 2008 semester.

Following the discussion about housing, Shanley announced that he will address continued concerns regarding the free expression policy 4 p.m. March 21 in the University Center Ballroom. He said there will be an open question and answer forum for students to voice their concerns.

“We are looking into tweaking specific aspects of the policy,” Shanley said. “Chalking and protests in and out of buildings are the biggest issue.” The free expression policy was tabled as a voting item March 14 at the Board of Regents meeting, and will go up for review again in May.