SGA debates international student options

A debate concerning the international students at Northern Kentucky University and their limited opportunities here in the United States, arose between various Student Government Association members in the meeting on Monday, April 20.

The first reading of requesting the addition of two $500 scholarships supporting international students, followed by the decrease of $1,000 from the Scott Wurster Book Grant and a decrease of $1,000 from the Extra Needs Grant from the SGA budget, was held on April 20.

The resolution states that SGA has heard the needs of the international students concerning the present currency exchange rate between the United States and foreign nations during the global economic recession. Because of this SGA wants to provide them with two scholarships that could help them make their way through college.

These two scholarships already exist to the entire student body at NKU and that’s where some students are disagreeing with the resolution. Although they too would like to help out their fellow students, SGA wants to take these two scholarships and only make them available to the international students instead of the whole university.

However, SGA represents the whole student body at NKU and not just a select group. Although offering two $500 scholarships is not paying a student’s full tuition bill.
‘There virtually aren’t any scholarships for the international students,’ said Senator Leigha Phelps. ‘There are a few, but not many.’

SGA also held the first reading of a resolution requesting the university’ create and publicize more opportunities for on-campus employment for international students on April 20. The resolution states that the international students pay out-of-state tuition, which is the highest tuition rate at NKU as well as the rate most substantially affected by the proposed tuition increases for the 2009-2010 school year.

Stated in the resolution, a majority of international students are not permitted by law to obtain employment outside the university. It’s a struggle for the international students to pay their tuition bill without being able to work off-campus and only limited jobs on-campus.

Some SGA members suggested that NKU students who live in the United States may be taking for granted what they have at the tip of their fingers. International students don’t have the opportunities that some students have that live in the states.

Also stated in the resolution, international students are often required to take in excess of 18 to 24 hours credit hours a semester, which adds to their expense to attend school.
In addition, as NKU students have quickly learned that they will be evaluating their professors online this semester, a second reading was held on’ April 20 of the resolution to endorse the university’s proposal to move all faculty evaluations online. This resolution passed because changing the evaluations from a paper format to an online format would save the university $15,000 a year, as stated in the resolution.’

In other news, SGA held the first reading of a resolution to increase the number of university police officers due to NKU having a student population of over 15,000. Currently only 19 university police officers are available to respond to various campus safety and traffic concerns. As stated in the resolution NKU has a ratio of one uniformed officer for every 793 students. SGA wants to be sure that NKU students are safe in this metropolitan area.

SGA held the first reading of a resolution to endorse the university’s revised intellectual property policy. As stated in the resolution the proposed revisions to the document add clarity to the policy. The second reading of this resolution and along with the resolution to increase university police officers will be held on Monday, April 27.