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The Northerner

The halfway point: What have they done so far?

Claire Higgins

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As students make their way through the eighth week of classes, the Student Government Association is taking a second look at what has been accomplished so far and what is planned for the rest of the semester, including more resolutions and increased interaction with students.

Since the school year began, SGA has officially passed four resolutions, two of which are still waiting for answers from higher administration. SGA passed a resolution to endorse the university’s decision to move to Division I athletics and made an official dedication to the late Officer Roy Sims.

In regards to the midterm grade resolution, which was passed by SGA Aug. 29, President Dustin Robinson said it is still on its way to the Faculty Senate. The Professional Concerns committee voted unanimously to explore midterm grade options, according to Robinson.

The midterm grade resolution asks the faculty to distribute midterm grades to all undergraduate students in 100-300 level classes, instead of freshmen only.
The remaining resolution, Find-It! opt-in resolution, is also still out with Student Rights Chair Mikey Adkins and Associate Director of Information Technology Doug Wells. According to Robinson, Adkins and Wells are currently in talks about how to properly implement the policy change.

Before the semester’s end, SGA plans to introduce a resolution to install more bike racks on campus, increase the number of counselors in the counseling office and introduce student forums to increase student interaction with student government.

Robinson wants to increase counselor numbers because the waiting list to see a counselor is continuing to grow and “will only get longer” as midterms approach and the weather changes.

The process for implementing resolutions and making significant changes around campus is a time-consuming one, according to Public Relations Chair Michelle Forlenza.

“Resolutions just take time … [for] adequate research so you’re not just sending it to upper administration saying we want this passed because we want this passed,” she said. “We need to look at comparable universities and see what they have, and really have a good backbone to take the resolution forward.”
By the end of the academic year, SGA is going to look further into wireless printing and a virtual machine software to make technology more accessible and easy to use for students. Additionally, the association will continue to move forward with the current resolutions, specifically the midterm grade and Find-It! policy resolutions.

So far, SGA has been in talks to move forward with many goals set during the summer by Robinson and the remaining officers, including more appropriate meal plan options, more desirable Student Union food options, extending library hours, and increasing student expression areas on campus, but these goals have yet to be addressed in a formal resolution.

In addition to the mentioned goals, the association is working to improve the Norse identity and SGA’s visibility on campus. Secretary for Administrative Affairs Allen Hornung recently introduced the contest to design a new All-Card, which is hoped to increase student involvement and Norse awareness.

To increase visibility and approachability, Forlenza and other SGA members are available to talk and listen to student concerns and comments every Wednesday at noon. “Students have the opportunity to speak to SGA … just so that we can maybe hear from a different group or a different demographic,” she said.

Before the end of November, SGA also plans to start holding student forums about “hot topics” on campus so that “we can work to advocate for students” Forlenza said. A potential topic could be NKU’s current smoking policy, according to Robinson. “It keeps coming up, so we want to find out what students think about it because it could be a very contested topic, just because there are very differing opinions on ways to approach that,” he said.

Robinson said he finds the conversations with students about the concerns they have are some of the “most rewarding” because that is how SGA knows what goals to set and what to focus on for the year.

“It’s kind of a two-way street, but we’re certainly making an effort to get out there that people both know what student government is and what we do for students,” Robinson said.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
The halfway point: What have they done so far?