SGA sets goals for new school year

Calling for more police patrols, amending the constitution and resolving some complaints againist a study abroad fee is just some of the areas Student Government President Gabe Cronon pointed out at the SGA retreat August 25.

Also on the agenda were student fees and the tuition increase.

“Tuition and parking will always be issues (for the Student Government Association),” Cronon said. He added that Northern Kentucky University was the only institution to have its full requested tuition increase approved by the state and that SGA officials should point out the positives of it.

“You might say ‘why should we be happy about a 9.6 percent increase?'” he said. “(But) we saved the most faculty and staff.”

But not all were saved. University President James Votruba eliminated 35 positions to cope with a six percent shortfall in state funding.

Despite the university’s financial woes, Cronon said the school’s fees should be considered in light of students’ financial problems as well, adding that SGA should listen to what students say about proposed fee increases.

That’s why he asked that SGA’s three committees : finance, student rights and university improvements to decide which one will examine the Study Abroad fee and assess students’ opinions on it.

“We have to hear what students have to say,” Cronon said.

Then, he said, SGA will decide what actions to take regarding the study abroad fee.

Already, 20 complaints have been filed by students and even more by parents.

According to Cronon, SGA must also consider changes to its constitution.

“We need a constitution with the tools to be effective, not weapons to be vindictive,” he said.

Citing a lack of checks and balances, as well as ambiguous language, Cronon said that the constitution “could lend itself well to people whose intentions are not those of the student body.”

Many changes, however, are simply logistical. He said that the constitution mandates that he form an election committee within two weeks of the semester starting.

After noting that one goal will be to increase police presence on campus, namely through patrols, he also touched on “Norsification of campus,” which aims to increase student pride on campus.

He said that adding to campus beauty is a major part of this, such as adding greenery around campus.

NKU is already placing new banners on several light posts.

Cronon also reminded student officials of their purpose.

“You don’t just represent students wearing greek colors, you don’t just represent African-American students, Latino students,” he said. “You represent 15,128 people.”