The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

What you missed at SGA: New members and Boots to the Ground responses

October 4, 2022

The Student Government Association continued the streak of new candidates and updated on newly introduced initiatives at this week’s meeting.

Three new members were sworn in for the Student Senate, two of whom are international students. After answering Senator Silverent Balcaitis’ question of what ideas they would bring to SGA and a round of discussion, the candidates were accepted as a slate with no opposition and no abstention.

“Every candidate that we’ve interviewed of late have been very qualified,” said Chief Justice Luke Price. “I’m very looking forward to them being part of a group, being part of the change on campus.”

One of the new senators, freshman Asha Chekanao, is from Tanzania and fluent in four languages. Secretary of Administration E’Mya Boards pointed to Chekanao’s abilities as a pretext for translating NKU websites, documents and social media into multiple languages to accommodate a larger audience.

A new justice was also sworn in to interpret the SGA constitution and by-laws, with no opposition and no abstention.

The meeting then saw a presentation by Dean of Students Dr. Bob Alston for “Help A Norse,” a collaborative program among Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and First-Year Student Success. The program aims to streamline institutional processes for students, as demonstrated by the Help A Norse website, which compiles resources for students in need of help and allows them to submit reports in the event of financial and personal issues.

The e-board updated on new outreach initiatives that were introduced at last week’s meeting. In the first week of implementing Boots to the Ground, SGA members asked students about their course delivery preference and their access to professors.

Of the 58 responses that Chairwoman of University Improvements Committee Lucy Burns received, 80% said they were more comfortable with in-person classes and 76% said they could reliably access their professors. Other senators echoed this preference for in-person delivery among students they had reached out to, who said that they lost engagement in an online format.

For this week, SGA would ask the following questions: “What would you like to see improved about your experience as a student?” and “How do you feel about your advising experience?”

President Daniel Myers encouraged everyone to vote for the midterm elections, which begin on the first Tuesday of November. He also reported on a voting rights presentation by the League of Women Voters in the Griffin Hall Digitorium this Thursday.

Vice President Jaelynn Gentry reported on the Financial and Strategic Update from university leadership on Oct. 6. Chairwoman Burns informed SGA of the Safety and Beautification Walk that would take place right after the meeting, where students and members of the administration could make suggestions on areas that need improving along a walk to Callahan Hall. Senator Balcaitis announced the kickoff for LGBTQ+ History Month.

As Halloween this year falls on a Monday, SGA unanimously moved to suspend the dress code for the Oct. 31 meeting. Members could instead come to the meeting in costumes.

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