Student Government Association members approached prior to commencement ceremony change announcement

Representatives of Georgia Southern University’s Student Government Association met with committee members regarding spring 2019 commencement changes prior to Wednesday’s announcement. SGA President Jarvis Steele was emailed for clarification on the meeting and SGA’s role in the decision but has yet to respond.

Matthew Enfinger

Representatives of Georgia Southern University’s Student Government Association met with committee members regarding spring 2019 commencement changes prior to Wednesday’s announcement.

As mentioned on Georgia Southern University’s spring 2019 commencement FAQ page, a committee solicited input from students, faculty and the deans before making a recommendation to the President’s Cabinet.

Two members of the committee met with SGA representatives to gather feedback and bring student input back to the committee, John Lester, interim vice president for strategic communications, said.

All SGA minutes from last semester do not mention any discussions or conversations of the possibility of changes to GS’ spring 2019 commencement ceremony.

Keyshawn Housey, Student Government Association senator at large, said the commencement change was never brought to SGA senators.

“It was my understanding that this was a cost effective measure undertaken by the administration,” Housey said. “Unfortunately this was never brought to me or any of the senators.”

Much later after agreeing to be quoted, Housey  asked that his comment not be used due to the fact that he was asked not to speak on the matter as a senator.

SGA President Jarvis Steele reached for comment via email for clarification on SGA’s knowledge of and involvement in the commencement ceremony changes but has not responded. Steele was also asked why Housey was asked not to discuss the matter as an SGA senator.

Students’ role in commencement change decision

Members of the committee listed in a proposal document did not include students but only faculty members from GS’ three campuses.

Members included:

  • Velma Burden, Registrar, Statesboro
  • Wallace Brown, Associate Registrar, Statesboro
  • Nichole Booker, Assistant Registrar, Armstrong
  • Laura Mills. Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, Armstrong
  • Christine Ludowise, Vice Provost, Statesboro
  • James Brawner, Mathematics Department Chair, Armstrong
  • Allen Amason, Dean, Statesboro
  • Patrice Jackson, former Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Services, Statesboro
  • Andrew Dies, Dean of Students and Student Affairs Campus Lead, Armstrong
  • Amanda Heinz, Community Affairs Coordinator, Armstrong
  • Katie Twinning, Associate Vice President for Facilities
  • Diana Cone, Vice Provost
  • Chris Curtis, Vice President for Armstrong and Liberty Campus Operations
  • Amy Ballagh, Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Georj Lewis, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Amy Heaston, Chief of Staff

“Additionally, when [committee members] requested feedback from faculty members, some of those responses included feedback from students,” John Lester, interim vice president for strategic communications, said. “All this input was carefully weighed in forming a final recommendation.”

The number of students reached in the feedback mentioned and the contents of student feedback is currently unknown. The George-Anne will provide updates as information becomes available.

McClain Baxley contributed to this article.

Matthew Enfinger. The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief, [email protected]