Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SGA holds first meeting of spring semester

Thursday, January 31, 2019

At its first meeting of the semester, Student Government Association had a guest to discuss enrollment issues, passed two by-laws and approved funding requests Monday, Jan. 28.

Guest speaker Debbie Below gave a presentation about the decline in enrollment and the need to focus on graduation, business, education and health programs at the university.

“Our goal must be to identify and support groups that are of interest to you and in demand in the marketplace,” Below said.

Below mentioned that Southeast will be creating its own focus groups. They will host four or five focus groups to create an analysis about enrollment opportunities.

“I am trying to share with everyone what the process is that we will follow to come up with an enrollment plan,” Below said. “Eventually that will lead into enrollment goals, but first we have to understand what our community thinks we are capable of and what our marketplace needs.”

To get more feedback on the presentation, Below asked SGA members to speak out about what they believed the university could do to turn the situation of enrollment around. Among many of the members responses, Diversity and Inclusion chair Xavier Payne spoke out about the university's lack of diversity and marketing strategies.

“In my transition of coming to Southeast, when I got all the brochures, I see one photo of someone who looks like me,” Payne said. “I think something that could help marketing wise is showing more people of minority and diversity groups on brochures.”

SGA went on to approve $2,255 in funding for the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Japanese Student Organization and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

Senators granted funding of $950 toward the Chinese Students and Scholars Association. The money is set to cover the cost of decorations and supplies for their annual “Chinese Spring Festival.”

The Japanese Student Organization was granted $505 for food for events.

American Choral Directors Association received $800 from SGA for lodging at the national conference at Kansas City, Missouri.

“We newly reinstated this organization last semester and that is very exciting,” president of ACDA Sara Dobson said. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to go to the national conference this year because this is a great opportunity for professional development and for use to also take the information we learn there and present it to our other members, so hopefully more people will want to get involved.”

Right now ACDA has 16 members.

The meeting concluded after the passing of two new bylaws. Students are now required to be enrolled in at least nine hours for a senator position and at least 12 for an executive board position. The minimum GPA requirement was also raised to a 2.5 for both senate and executive positions.