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The Blue & Gray Press | July 16, 2018

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SGA Works to Include Student Perspectives

By COLLEEN HUBER

On the weekend of Nov. 17, the University of Mary Washington Student Government Association (SGA) worked to ensure that students would have a voice in the impending review process.

Regarding the reallocation process, President Rick Hurley said that, before any program cuts can be agreed upon, the University must complete the evaluation process and make recommendations.

Jeremy Thompson, president of the SGA, said that he wants student representation heard across the board.

“What I’m envisioning is a representative appointed by SGA from the three colleges,” said Thompson.

The key, according to Thompson, is communication. Next semester, Thompson and SGA plan to use social media, email, forums and to organize meetings with clubs to inform students of what is happening with the review process.

“That way rumors don’t get spread and people have correct information,” said Thompson.

Thompson wants the student body to know that SGA is one resource that students can use to communicate with the administration.

Students are the only reason UMW is successful, according to Thompson. He wants to encourage students to reach out to SGA and participate in the process. In the coming spring semester, SGA will look for students to participate and it will send an email to students so those interested can become involved.

The idea is to keep students informed and create a way to simplify what is going on so that they will understand.

According to Thompson, the administration has been as open as they can be with the process and what they know.

“SGA is doing their best to make sure students have their say,” said Thompson.

On Monday, Dec. 3, the SGA cabinet composed requesting student involvement in the review process, according to Thompson.

The statement said the “SGA and Student Senate…fully endorse the importance of student involvement throughout this process.” The statement went on to thank the administration and faculty for allowing students to be a part of the review committee.

“The student(s) selected to serve on the Institutional Program Review Committee will be responsible for informing the SGA and thereby the student body of all pertinent updates throughout this process,” continued the statement. “We also respectfully request that the Student Senate and Student Government Association receive periodic updates from the consultant and provost on this matter.”

When asked if any classes would be cut, Hurley said, “There is no way of knowing at this point what might be considered.”

According to Hurley, UMW has not figured out the criteria for the evaluation process yet.

Hurley said that he decides where the reallocated resources will go, but that he will ideally be guided by the recommendations that will come from the review process.

“Creating the university budget is my responsibility, but I am always guided by recommendations made by the Faculty Budget Advisory Committee,” said Hurley.

Hurley also said that faculty and administration will work together to determine in which ways the faculty will participate in the process.

Hurley also plans to keep students informed in the process.

“I have promised the SGA that they will be asked to identify a representative for the process,” said Hurley.

On Dec. 5, the SGA spoke with Hurley about their proposal to put three students on the Academic and Administrative reallocation committee, according to Thompson. SGA cabinet has proposed that the executive cabinet, with direction from the SGA president, will interview and select three students to serve and report to the cabinet.

They are currently waiting to hear back from Hurley, according to Thompson.