SGA holds third Student Forum

Kristina Wyman's picture
Pablo A. Sierra Carmona

The Student Government Association (SGA) officially held this year’s student forum—closed doors to faculty and administration—on what proved to be a busy but diligent night for the attentive SGA executives.

Senior SGA President Nicole Breen kicked off the forum on Wednesday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m., by emphasizing to students the importance of the forum and how the anonymity of the event was a priority to the executives, so students could feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns. The microphone was handed over to senior SGA Senate Speaker Jennifer Crea, as the official mediator between the students and the other SGA executives.

The forum was divided into three topics: Campus Life, Academics and Finance.

Breen and junior SGA Student Affairs Vice President Patrick Giroux dealt with questions regarding campus life.

A student brought up the concern of athletes getting priority over gym use, and asked whether a new gym solely for athletes would be a possibility. Giroux said that this concern has been brought to SGA before, and they have tried to find ways to accommodate athletes and students. He mentioned the new weight room that is exclusive for athletes, so students could use the second floor weight room in the Plourde Recreational Center. The plans for a new gym, however, are a not in the works. Another student suggested that Athletics should advertise better when athletes would be using the facilities.

A female student asked why Health Services was not open later in the day, since students can still get sick in the late afternoon or evening. Breen quickly said that because of standard campus hours there is no personal there; however, she stressed that “it being a student service, it should always be a service to us. So that’s something that we are trying to figure out, but I also know it has to do with staff and budget, but my response to that has always been that ‘you can never put a price on health.’” She also said that if an emergency were to arise and no health services personnel are on campus, students can call Yellow Cab, go to the hospital or clinic, save the receipt and then submit it to the College to get reimbursed.

A reality most seniors face is the heavy expense of Senior Week. A student said that some schools similar to Assumption offered a lower fee, and asked if there was a possibility Assumption could do the same. Giroux said that throughout the years the classes have to fundraise and once senior year comes they use what they have fundraised so they could charge the base cost of $250, which remains the same every year, to students. Breen reiterated that although the $250 is not cheap, it is capped at that price so students won’t have to pay more money. She indicated that they will try to see if any potential changes could happen in the future about this.

Another student raised the complaint that some drivers from Yellow Cab have turned them down when they call for a safe ride, even in situations where they don’t feel safe, and the student asked whether the driver was allowed to do that. Giroux quickly responded: “The flat out answer is no.” He indicated that he met with the Vice President of Yellow Cab and she stressed that the drivers are not allowed to do that. If the drivers says that he or she does not have the slip, they could still write it down on any piece of paper; it doesn’t matter the situation, they have to drive the students back to Assumption because they obliged to do so by contract. Giroux said that if the driver still refuses to take the students back, then students should take down the cab number and time, and inform the College.

SGA Academic Affairs Vice President Barry Nicholson answered questions regarding academics that ranged from faculty tenure to issues regarding studying abroad.

A student asked if the Student Body could participate in the tenure confirmation process of faculty besides filing up course evaluation forms. Nicholson responded that although a valid question, a big drawback from that is the fact that students stay at Assumption for only four years.
Another student asked if Nicholson could put a stress on the faculty in getting more involved with Career Services, so students could have better opportunities in getting jobs and internships in their fields of study.

A concerned student got up and indicated that the change in the studying abroad policy “completely destroyed” her chances of going abroad. Nicholson said that the College was losing money with the old policy and that was the major driving factor behind the change, but he stressed that the College doesn’t want to discourage students from studying abroad and that if any situations like that were to arise, they should meet directly with Dr. Eloise Knowlton, dean of undergraduate studies.

Senior SGA Finance Vice President Jenna Connors answered questions regarding funs for club sports and other organization on campus.

Crea concluded the forum at around 8 p.m. and encouraged students to submit anonymous questions, issues or concerns on SGA’s www.ask.fm/AC_SGA.

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