Campus-wide survey intends to gain student opinion

The Student Government Association released a campus-wide survey Nov. 12, giving students the opportunity to vote on issues, such as changing the GPA scale, the allocation of the student activity fee and the new football and soccer stadium.

SGA President Chase Holcomb said there have been certain setbacks when trying to release the survey.

“The setbacks mentioned were mainly about the time that it takes to follow the proper channels,” Holcomb said. “I made sure the survey went through the institutional research and SGA, with Student Affairs also taking a look at it. It just takes time to check your bases. I would say that at the beginning, I underestimated how long the process would be.”

In addition, Holcomb said it is a possibility that some of the students may not have received the survey. Some students may have had to check their clutter or spam folders to locate the survey.

“We have a couple of instances where, for whatever reason, it was moved to clutter or to spam folders,” Holcomb said. “So far we have had over 1,600 students respond.”

In the survey, students are given the option of allocating the student activity fee to the Guillot University Center or the School of the Arts.

The money allocated to the GUC would be for more events, such as a mid-day music calendar, a partnership with First Fridays or a UNA dining program partnership, according to Director of University Center Operations and Event Management Kevin Jacques.

The School of the Arts proposed to have allocations to allow students into art and cultural events without cost. SOTA released a survey in which 80 percent of students said they would attend these events.

Holcomb said SGA has been looking at the distribution of the fee quite intently. He said it appears the only place that could feasibly take a cut would be allocations.

SGA Budget Oversight Chair Rebekah Matthews is responsible for putting together models to look at and debate about which is the best method.

“Nothing has been set in stone, but it looks like the only place we can feasibly take money from would be the Allocations Budget,” Holcomb said. “I certainly hope that we will consider the survey’s results when deciding what projects to move forward with. I can assure you that I will take heed to these results. I hope that the SGA Senate follows suit and does the same.”

Freshman Leslie Turner said it took her around five minutes to complete the survey.

“I believe that I answered the questions with good intentions, answering not only for my own benefit but for the benefit of the university,” Turner said. “Many people take things like this survey for granted. In actuality, they should be taking advantage of it. It is not every day that students’ voices get to be heard or they get included in big campus discussions.”

Turner encourages students to not be afraid that they are not being listened to or taken into account.

“Voting is the only way that students will be able to give their opinion on things and that all votes matter,” Turner said.

Freshman Michelle Finch said she feels it is very important for the university to tell students about these requests and to let them vote because they are going to be the ones it affects.

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