Go West this summer and get ahead.

“Déjà vu” for SGA President Patterson

Student Government Association University-wide President Franklin Patterson takes a moment to hear senators’ concerns in the remaining two months of the 89th Administration. Photo by Daniel Varitek | The Signal

The Student Government Association met for their second university-wide meeting of the spring semester on Feb. 28. During this meeting, SGA President Franklin Patterson confronted the senators asking them to step up and share their constituents concern.

“This year, one of the things I came to do was to serve the student population,” Patterson said.

When, at this particular meeting, there was no proposed legislation to review, Patterson decided to take a different approach to how the meetings normally proceed to reach his larger goal for the administration – starting a discussion on what students want.

URGE Abortion

One concern raised was the topic of holding professors accountable for putting grades in a timely manner. The senators discussed their constituents’ – and their own – concerns about not being able to see grades on assignments in time before the last day to withdraw.

Sen. Gregory Wright brought to light concerns Patterson was referencing.

“There’s a problem with teacher accountability – teachers not putting grades in the gradebook on time. So, students will actually know when to drop classes if they need to drop classes,” he said

Wright said there have been reports from students that teachers were not responding to emails in time. Typically, teachers will respond within 48 hours, but Wright said this isn’t always followed, and he wants to assure that students are getting the communication they need.

“I really was [inspired], it was a really good idea,” Wright said about Patterson’s actions at the last meeting.

Wake Forest University

He said this was a good change of pace so that all the concerns can be shared at once, creating a dialogue between the senators and bringing the constituents to the forefront.

Patterson set Wright’s movement in motion by planning a meeting with Risa Palm, current and outgoing senior vice president and provost, to get more advice on how to implement this in the classroom.

He hopes the senators take constituents concerns into their own hands moving forward. Still, he said he won’t stop aiding in the process by setting up meetings with the appropriate university staff and administration related to the problem.

Senator Sheri Kearse also shared an update to what she’s doing for her constituents at the meeting. Kearse is holding a program called “You’re Doing College Wrong” through University Housing on March 14.

“I like to put on events that are educational where the students can get something out of it as opposed to a leisure event,” Kearse said. “I always try to do things with a purpose.”

Kearse acknowledges that towards the end of an administrations term, people may get lazy or start to give up, but she thinks Patterson’s actions help mitigate that before senators can’t redeem themselves.

“I just wanted to let him know – and others – that there are senators out here still working,” she said.

So, did any of the constituent complaints come as a shock to the president?

“Actually, no, that whole night was an instance of déjà vu,” Patterson said.

Quickly he realized that he was hearing the same issues he’s heard before – some of these, he said, had been ongoing for several years but SGA hasn’t done anything to solve them. This year he wanted to make sure SGA is actually doing something to solve them this time around.

“We are trying to change that this year, which is why I did what I did,” Patterson said.

Patterson hopes to establish a baseline of progress for the next administration, before the 89th comes to a close. He knows now is a better time than ever to ask senators to step up and serve the students who elected them.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


The Signal