Q & A with SGA senators and executives

Ozzie Bunbury and Julia Fechter

Kailyn Simmons, Senator of the At Large college, it’s for undecided, foreign language, history majors and social sciences. It’s kind of an umbrella for the rest of the colleges.

So how has this year been for you?

I know that we have made some good changes. Our biggest points of being Student Government is to make sure we are hearing what our fellow students want to see differently at our school and making sure their requests are met. My favorite example is the straws. The Dining Commons took away the straws and we heard about that, and we got them back. It might seem minor to the school overall, but that was something that was big for students so we went out and got it for them.

What do you think are the issues involving SGA?

We don’t have as big of a presence as we could. We get a lot of complaints, but we don’t always get it directed towards us. Like people will say things on social media and they can actually get these problems taken care of if they come talk to us.

Do you feel you have made a difference?

I feel that as a single being, I have not made as big as difference as I have with the entire SGA if that makes sense. It’s not a singular persons job, its all of us working together to make sure the job gets done.

Taryn Connelly, Senator for the college of Health and Human Sciences.

I serve to represent the student body and their needs and concerns, specifically for CHHS. So whenever I’m interacting with CHHS students, anywhere from athletic training, to nursing, interior design, if they have a problem that they see in their classes, or registrations I am here for them to voice their concerns.

What have you seen go on this year?

At the beginning of this semester we came back from break and made a big list of things we have heard students complain about. Everything from the buses, to dining concerns, to printers not working. We then split up into committees and work on getting those concerns taken care of, or find out who we have to talk to on the higher-up, administrative side of things.

There seems to be a communication barrier between the school and the students, and I think that’s something SGA is trying to work on. I think as voices of the students, we have been doing a good job of speaking with the president and his council and making sure that they know what student concerns are.

Josh Archer, College of Engineering and Informations Technology senator.

So what do you consider some high points for SGA?

I think some high points for SGA as whole is Eagles for Eagles. Eagles for Eagles is basically Students giving back to students. By that I mean, it’s student funded scholarships. If you are a student in need, you can go to Georgia Southern’s website or SGA’s website, and you can find all the scholarships offered. It usually ranges between $500-$1000 per each award per student. Its scholarships completely funded by Georgia Southern Students, its your fellow classmates helping you finish college.

So a lot of behind the scenes things?

Definitely, any computer upgrades: that’s SGA. Allocating student technology fees, we have each college say their highest priority leads. If one says “hey, we need revamp on our computers, they’re getting kind of old,” we’ll take that into consideration, check them out and if we think that needs to be changed, we’ll take care of that.

President: Azell Francis, Applied Engineering Major , Graduate

How have you represented the student body? Any specific events you can attribute to doing so.

Azell: I am able to meet with President Keel one-on-one, as well as attend different conferences over the country for GSU’s SGA. It is a great thing, representing GSU students around the world.

VP of Academic Affairs: Errol Spence, Political Science Major, Senior

What does it mean in the constitution when it states you are responsible for “overseeing the development of academic programs?”

Errol: A tangible example of this would be QEP. For this, I have been involved with the Provost and the real VP of Academics. We talked about how to best implement QEP for students. My position can be overlooked, but my job is to remind students why they are here.

Web Designer: Collin Lang, Computer Science Major, Senior

What are your responsibilities as a web designer?

Collin: My biggest responsibility is getting students connected with what’s going on on campus. I maintain and update SGA’s website. One reason why SGA is so important is the open resources to students on the website, like financial aid opportunities.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment(s) this year?

Azell: I’m glad SGA is opening up and exploring broader concerns. We brought “It’s On Us,” a sexual assault awareness campaign, to campus.

Errol: There are also two scholarships, the Georj Lewis Scholarship and the John F. Nolen Scholarship, that students can apply for now. The links are on SGA’s website.

Publicity Coordinator: Caleb Rogers, Public Relations Major, Senior

Caleb: The biggest thing I help with these days is social media. It helps us connect and interact with students. People can ask questions while events are happening, like with live tweeting. Through the different outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, people can retweet and share what we post, and then their followers do that and so on.

What are your hopes for the future? Anything else you want students to know?

Azell: I’m excited about the three executive board members running again. We have a shared vision and goals for SGA. I think of it like SOAR. We want a united Eagle nation, a smooth transition. It values continuity and building upon success. I always want to be adapting and evolving to be the best voice of GSU students I can be.

Errol: I would like to see the academic sub-committees continue so they could meet their goals. I would also like to see how the student rating of instruction committee’s work progresses. It addresses improving the professor evaluations. The committee is helping design evaluations that are not multiple choice.