North Texas Daily

Student, faculty administrators address changing student body

Student, faculty administrators address changing student body

Student, faculty administrators address changing student body
October 08
00:51 2014

Rhiannon Saegert / Senior Staff Writer

SGA executives and university administrators discussed students’ present concerns and plans for UNT’s future during the State of the Student Body address Tuesday night.

Campus president Neal Smatresk began the address, speaking about the school’s fiscal crisis, the new Eagle Express tuition plan and three new dean positions being added to the administration.

“Here’s what you need to know,” Smatresk said. “The folks who got us into a bind with the state are no longer working on this campus.”

He said he plans to make the administration’s enrollment process and financial management more efficient and the Eagle Express plan was part of that goal.

“As we look to the future, I want to make a pledge to you that whatever financial challenge we have will not be borne on the backs of our students,” he said.

Student affairs vice president Elizabeth With spoke next, saying student affairs is concerned with supporting groups of students who may have been neglected in the past.

“Are we always doing what we should be doing for our graduate students from a programming services perspective?” With asked. “In order to make sure we do that, we’ll be doing a needs assessment, a survey that will be going out to our graduate students in the upcoming future.”

Distance learning students, transfer students and freshmen were also reexamined by student affairs this semester.

“They [online students] pay fees as well, and it’s important for us to be able to provide services to those students and for us to be able to program for them and provide more options for them,” With said.

With spoke about the new Student Union’s construction as well as future updates to student housing, the Pohl Recreation Center and other facilities. For instance, With said older buildings are being retro-fitted with bathrooms accessible to transgender students.

“There’s a lot happening within the division of student affairs,” With said. “More than what I have listed here, but our goal is to serve you, our students.”

SGA president Troy Elliott said the purpose of the address is to inform students of SGA’s upcoming plans and give them a chance to voice any concerns and ask questions. He addressed the soon-to-be-elected House of Representatives, and SGA’s plans to strengthen and diversify the organization by increasing student involvement, starting by re-visiting several of his campaign promises.

“The first is filling the student senate for the first time in 7 years,” Elliott said. “The student senate is filled and represents their individual colleges based on their population, and so the only way that we can really say we have a structurally sound association is to ensure that we have a representation across the board of all our colleges and that representation is even diverse within itself.”

Elliott also spoke about the $5 student innovation fee created by a referendum last month and the library’s new printing policy. Students were invited to a reception in the Willis Library, where a panel of SGA members and administrators answered questions about the address.

Featured Image: Faculty, staff and students gather in the Library Mall on Tuesday afternoon for the State of the Student Body Address hosted by SGA. Photo by Evan McAlister – Staff Photographer

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