At Kentucky Wesleyan College, the four pillars of character for our campus are honor, support, integrity, and love. These ideals, which we live by throughout our college years and beyond, make what we know as the Wesleyan Way. In order to implement this into our four years here as students, the importance of involvement on campus cannot be stressed enough. It is evident that the faculty and staff wish only the best for students and want to make their experience as accommodating as they can. For this to happen, though, they need our help.
One of the best ways to make real change happen on our campus is to attend the Student Government Association’s meetings. Since becoming one of the Junior Senators on SGA, it is clear just how important student’s participation in decision-making is. More specifically, students may attend meetings to share thoughts and concerns, as well as ask questions and make suggestions for potential improvement. Examples of projects SGA has in the works are commuter initiatives, such as commuter appreciation week, more daytime social programming, and upgrading the commuter lounge with more modern and comfortable furniture. Also, there has recently been an addition of changing tables in the mens’ and womens’ restrooms in Winchester and the HRC (SGA wanted to be more inclusive and support any students who are parents). Library improvements have also been made, like adding white boards and other amenities to create a better environment for studying. The food committee is also working directly with Joshua Eckman from Aladdin to make improvements in food service, one specific addition is the soup option in the grill. Improvements such as these all stemmed from students raising awareness to needs that were not being met, and they have received quick responses in action.
If students are unable to attend meetings, another opportunity to make your voice heard is to attend open forums. The purpose of these forums originated from SGA wanting to give students more opportunities to share their opinions and to have a voice with the administration of the college. These forums will be announced in advance so that students have time to organize their ideas and concerns and present them to the panel.
The mistake many students make is assuming the people who have the power to change things are aware of every issue on campus. Obviously, they do not experience Wesleyan as we do. Therefore, we notice things that they may not and we need to be vocal about our experience so they may see things from our perspectives. This is why opportunities to participate in SGA meetings and open forums are vital in maintaining an accommodating and welcoming atmosphere.
Dean McQueen-Ruark spoke on the topic; “A Kentucky Wesleyan education is about more than the information you learn in the classroom. We also want to learn about yourself – your interests and your strengths – and about other people. The best way to do that is by being involved on campus through student activities, clubs, and organizations.”
If there are changes or new ideas you would like to see come to fruition, take action now, and do not wait in hopes that someone else will do something about it.