Haley Davis and Maddie Taylor, Student Body President and Vice President, are encouraging students to voice any concerns they may have due to the changes happening on campus because of COVID-19. These concerns can be anything from campus life to different regulations put into place because of the pandemic.
The Student Government Association (SGA) has open meetings, which means that every student can attend who wants to come and voice their concerns. The executive board also has office hours, which are posted on the SGA Instagram page along with the contact information of members.
Social media has become a great way for members to announce meetings and contact information. Davis and Taylor made clear that any student with a question or concern is more than welcome to reach out to any SGA member to see what can be done.
SGA meetings are currently being held on Zoom from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoons. If you want to voice a concern, you can listen for them to announce the “Student Voice Forum.” From there, you will be instructed to put your name on the “Speaker’s List” or chat on Zoom. Once your turn comes up, you will be instructed to state your concern or ask your question. While answers may not be immediate, SGA is always willing to look into solutions.
If you are not comfortable voicing your concerns in a meeting, you can email any member of SGA or visit their in-person office hours on the third floor of Bartlett. Office hours are held throughout the week with different members on the executive board. While Davis and Taylor have their own hours, there are six other executive board members who are willing to hear student body questions and concerns; it does not have to go straight to the Student Body President or Vice President.
A recent change that SGA was responsible for was changing the hours of Issac’s Cafe to better work with the student body. The new hours are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and began on Monday, Sept. 21. These hours were pushed back from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to better accommodate student’s schedules.
Both Davis and Taylor were elected last spring when the semester transitioned to an online setting. Neither were able to campaign on campus or in person which made it difficult for them to feel connected to the student body. This semester they hope to change that by encouraging open communication with the student body. Students can stay connected and up to date by checking out their Instagram page.
After meeting with both members of SGA, it became clear that students come first in their minds.
“Haley and I are for students and what is best for the campus,” Taylor said. “Every day we are in constant communication about what we are going to do next.”
Even though they are not able to be as active on campus in person this semester, they are doing everything they can to make themselves available to their peers.
When asked if there was an even greater need for SGA this semester, Davis responded, “I definitely think so. SGA is a place that wants to hear concerns.”
She is understanding of the fact that there are going to be more concerns on campus this semester, and she is willing to hear all of them.
The President and Vice President are not the only ones who notice a need for SGA this semester. As a commuter, Alexis Smith wants a way for students to stay connected.
“I think it would be best to keep students informed on the measures the school is taking to keep us safe during this time,” Smith said. “Open communication would be the best thing as of right now.” Like many commuters on campus, Smith was worried about being on campus this semester and where to go during Zoom classes. Now that she knows more about SGA, she can go to them with concerns she may develop over the semester.
Communication has become a big factor this semester as in-person meetings are not currently plausible. Sarah McFalls, senior class member, has a similar opinion.
“More communication would be helpful in regard to the decisions that they make,” McFalls said. She believes that as long as the student body and SGA are staying connected in communication, the semester will still run smoothly.
This is something that Davis and Taylor are working on.
“The communication aspect has been lost over the past few years,” Taylor said. She further explains that it is something being discussed, especially this semester since they are not as able to be out on campus engaging with the student body.
For more information about SGA, contact information, and in person office hours, visit the Maryville College SGA Instagram page, @maryvillesga.