With the arrival of the spring semester comes a plethora of alterations and solutions the Student Government Association hopes will intrigue students and raise awareness on various issues.
“One of the biggest goals we have for this semester revolves around the implementation of differential tuition,” said Chris Slattery, the president of SGA.
Differential tuition is an additional fee applied on top of general tuition. The lack of revenue production is the main cause for the discussion of non-academic fees.
“We can use that money to hire more professors,” Slattery said. “If we had more professors, we’d be able to open up more bottleneck courses, therefore making it possible for students to graduate earlier.”
Bottlenecks are courses students need to graduate but cannot easily get into.
“The freeze in tuition means we have to pay less initially, but pair that with the cut in funding and it’s a double-edged sword,” Slattery said.
Another issue SGA is taking into consideration is the standard attendance and make-up policy.
“We’ve been evaluating the current attendance policy and picking out certain things that need to be changed,” said Tyler Forsythe, the student life and academic affairs director.
Forsythe explained there is back and forth discussion between SGA and Faculty Senate to compromise regarding the campus wide documents.
“Before I was president, I found massive discrepancies in what the university says regarding make-up work versus what teachers are requiring,” Slattery said. “We want to be sure that students are able to achieve academically.”
Forsythe said another goal he has for his role in the Academic Affairs Committee revolves around the use of the sun dial space. He explains that there is a plan to one day turn the space into a quad, but for the time being the committee is exploring other temporary options.
“Right now the sun dial is deteriorating so we did some research to find out what students thought should be done with the space,” Forsythe said. “I thought it would be cool to create an ice rink there in the winter, but we found most students were in favor of holding concerts and entertainment there in the spring.”
However, the largest change Slattery hopes to see this semester revolves around student interaction with SGA.
“A lot of what I hear about SGA is that it’s a type of club that’s too snobby, too big for its britches, and that’s just not the case,” Slattery said. “I want students to knock on my door and speak out. I want them to be comfortable enough to approach me about anything.”