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Highlights of the First Town Hall

Alex Adams
Picture of the moderator and the speakers at the Town Hall

On Nov. 14, Gainsville’s Student Government Association held the first Town Hall since students returned back to campus after Covid-19. 

Moderated by the SGA VP for the Gainsville campus Chris Hale, speakers at the Town Hall included Darcy Hayes and Ken Harrison. These two are the Interim Dean of Students and the campus Recreation and wellness director, respectively. Kaleigh Riker, the leader of the Baptist Student Ministry, and David Misner, the Student Center Director also spoke during the meeting.

One of the major things that was talked about was how powerful the student voice can be. Hayes and Riker hammered this point home when they collectively said that students need to communicate with the people who can do something about it. 

Hayes said that leaders need to hear student feedback and that the leaders need the students to show them what needs to be done on campus. Riker expanded on this idea when she talked about how to get those changes.  

“Instead of students complaining to people who cannot do anything, they need to talk to the higher-ups on campus like the department heads and the academic advisors.” – Kaleigh Riker, leader of the Baptist Student Ministry. 

Another major topic of the Town Hall was the speakers discussing student involvement. Misner talked about what getting involved does for students. 

“To create those lasting memories of campus, traditions from student involvement must be started. If you want to make a friend, you have got to be a friend. Also, when students get involved on campus, potential employers see that and will remember that more than the grades you made.” 

Riker said that getting involved in student organizations improves mental health and helps students make many friends during their college years.  

One other major topic of the Town Hall was the discussion of how campus life is improving for students. Both Harrison and Misner talked about the need for the campus to modernize. Harrison said that UNG needs to keep up better hiking trails and the need for a virtual sports room. Misner talked about how under previous leadership (President Jacobs), UNG was very conservative and mostly stuck to what works, but now, the new president is looking to modernize the campuses.  

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