With the promise of free food and a microphone to voice one’s opinion, the University of North Georgia’s Student Government Association held an open forum on Sept. 20 at the Oconee campus.
As students started entering the room, the leader of the forum was optimistic.
“[The forum] will give students a chance to talk to administrators and voice their concerns in a productive environment,” SGA vice president Philip Spencer said.
The SGA invited administrative personnel to make up the panel.
UNG Oconee’s executive director, Cyndee Moore, addressed a question about bringing Chick-fil-A to campus.
“I like Chick-fil-A, too. I would love to have that for lunch, but we here at this campus don’t handle the food service contracts and so forth. They are selected by a search committee, and we are somewhat limited by the amount of space and the facilities available here,” Moore said. “Chick-fil-A, probably not this year, maybe not next year, but that’s definitely a long-range goal, to get more of a food court with lots of options.”
Another hot-button issue came up next.
“The traffic cones that are placed around campus, for our safety, blocking off certain parking areas, is that a permanent thing, or is that just for the first few weeks?” asked a student.
“They are gone today! They were taken down yesterday. That’s just for the first few weeks, and it’ll be the first few weeks every semester, just to get everybody in and out safely,” Moore said.
Leading up to the forum, SGA members collected concerns from students to read at the event.
“Chemistry 1152 classes and Anatomy classes being scheduled at the same time hurts nursing majors, is there anything that can be done about this?” Spencer read.
“Sure, I can tell the dean that schedules those,” joked Associate Dean of Academic Administration Chris Barnes. “That is an oversight.”
After the forum, SGA faculty adviser and director of student involvement Lindsay Bailey mentioned that SGA will use posters around campus and a newsletter to summarize what happened at the forum to reach out to more students.
Spencer wants to encourage more students to take advantage of these open forums, so they can be part of making positive changes on campus.
“It may seem small, but we got a microwave in the atrium replaced because of one of these meetings,” Spencer said. “It was apparently in dire need of it.”