After low student attendance at last week’s Vice President for Student Affairs open forums and two relatively slow beginning of the semester meetings, NKU Student Government Association received a wake-up call via an announcement from the group’s adviser, Dean of Students Jeffrey Waple.
Waple addressed the group during his weekly announcements at the Jan. 28 meeting with a speech that appeared to have the goal of refocusing the group and letting them know that he felt they had grown too “complacent” with their progress.
Waple also added that the group needs to “pick up the pace” and “get motivated” in order to continue the level of progress they were making last semester.
According to SGA President Erik Pederson, the reason for the low student turnout at the open forums was because of homecoming week events.
“The issue for the VP student affairs forums was that it was during homecoming week,” Pederson said. “Because many SGA members are very active in student life, they were too busy to attend.”
However Pederson also acknowledged the importance of both SGA’s and the student body’s participation at the forums.
“[Homecoming] was no excuse,” he said. “SGA should’ve had more participation and gotten students more active.”
The trend of time, priorities and progress continued throughout the Jan. 28 meeting as the Secretary of Student Involvement Ali Hedges resigned due to “changes in priorities” and announced that she was regretfully removing herself from the position in order for someone with more time to give the spot the attention it needs.
Pederson commented on the resignation, stating that this is not an uncommon problem for “involved students” to face.
“Everyone goes through a phase where they have to go down a road and pick what’s most important to them,” he said. “Ali had the difficult decision of choosing between her future career and her involvement [with SGA].”
Pederson also added that many other notable past SGA members, such as current NKU student Ron Burse and alumni Chris Ruth, were also forced to make the decision to leave the group.
Possibly in response to Waple’s motivational advice, SGA quickly voted and appointed Senator Tina Hoesl to the Secretary of Student Involvement position.
“This position has a lot of work coming up for the rest of the semester,” Pederson said. “We needed someone who could fill the position quickly and as soon as possible.”
A resolution to support and promote the recent initiative from the campus beautification committee (which aims to purchase and place student art in various areas of campus) unanimously passed at the meeting, making it the first passed resolution of the spring semester.
Senator Brandi Cunningham presented the resolution and gave different reasons for it to be a priority at NKU. “Displaying the student art will create more of a community feel,” she said at the meeting.
According to Pederson, there are several projects and resolutions in the works for the upcoming weeks. These include a resolution to recommend an end of the semester academic dead week, promotion for the idea of a LGBTQ center for students on campus and to advocate for previously passed resolutions at the Faculty Senate meeting next month.