Student Government ‘defunct’ leaders declare at meetings for student feedback; concerns gathered

Student leaders declared during town hall meetings this week that the Student Government Association (SGA) is “defunct” because of seven vacancies on the Student Senate, its elected legislative body.

Efforts to fill those positions have been unsuccessful so a special election can be held.

Most of the meetings heard student comments to be shared with the WVSU Board of Governors (BOG) and the Administration by BOG representative Baigen Seawell, an official member of the University’s principal governing body.

SGA President Brandon Martinez also attended to gather student feedback.

Here’s a summary of the meetings,

  • SGA is considered a defunct government due to non-participation of students for the Student Senate
  • Student Senate is holding elections now but has 7 vacancies to fill.
  • Students in attendance volunteered for the positions available, but you can still apply to run as a candidate.
  • Students complained that First Year Experience classes do not teach enough about States history and that no one knows the Alma Mater.
  • Students complained that the HBCU feel on campus has not been supported.
  • Board members expressed that student engagement is not something that they can compel or a culture enforceable among the campus community, the students must be involved in order for the campus to operate efficiently.
  • Board Members complained that the First Year Experience courses are missing their marks if they are not covering that information, but did not make any suggestion or commitment to change the curriculum.

Class Scheduling and Major Concentration Issues

  • Students had questions about class scheduling in regards to graduation causing some students to stay enrolled much longer due to unavailability of necessary classes needed to graduate.
  • Student’s highlighted Music Majors specifically but Major Concentration were also discussed.
  • Students complained that they have been steered away from concentrations due to unavailability of classes.
  • Student’s also asked for the class schedules be switched back to Monday and Wednesday without a Friday component as many students work and are seeing a drop in their hours available to work causing financial distress to students as education costs rise each semester.
  • Board Members responded that they are currently reviewing the process and had spoken on scheduling issues prior to the student session.

Issues securing Unofficial Transcripts for Scholarship Applications

  • Students seeking outside scholarships are unable to gain access to an unofficial transcript if their account holds a balance of any amount. This has caused issues when trying to obtain scholarships from outside resources which require documentation of students grades.
  • Students also complained that when they tried to have their GPA verified if any account balance was on their account they were not allowed to have GPA verification. This hinders multiple candidates unable to run for open SGA positions causing engagement to trend downward.
  • President Jenkins said that the concern had been brought to his attention and his team was working to ensure any roadblocks for students seeking outside funding are removed.

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About Alex Bennett

History and Political Science Major, Managing Editor of the YJ, WVSU Quiz Bowl, President of the Pre-Law Society, and campus activist.
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