SGA supports sustainability, social justice forum

Jamie Williams

The Student Government Association approved funding for a sustainability and social justice panel and heard about WKU’s new scheduling platform during its Tuesday meeting.

The panel, “How Helping the Earth Helps Us: A Panel on Social Justice and Sustainability,” will be a forum regarding the connections between sustainability and social justice issues.

“I think it will be really dynamic because it involves the international community,” said MyCampusToo Chair Andi Dahmer, “and not only the future of our planet as a whole, but the future of sustainability on campus.”

The forum aims to create dialogue among students and faculty members about “the connections between social justice issues at WKU and the sustainable future of our planet,” according to the bill proposed to the SGA. It will also promote the diversity and inclusion of all WKU students in sustainability efforts.

The panel, which will take place on April 29, is a collaborative effort between the Office of Sustainability and the MyCampusToo committee. Savannah Molyneaux, chair of the SGA’s sustainability committee, said it had been working to arrange this event for a long time. Molyneaux hopes the forum will increase diversity in sustainability.

The SGA also heard from Christopher Jensen, director of the Academic Advising and Retention Center, about WKU’s new class scheduling system.

The new platform will allow students to select desired courses and will generate every available schedule option for those courses. Students can then lock certain classes into place and regenerate schedules until they have a desired outcome.

Students can also set parameters for “breaks” the student chooses, so the program will not generate schedules with classes that take place during those times.

While the new scheduling platform will not be implemented until Fall semester, students will soon receive emails detailing how to use the system.

During his report, SGA president Jay Todd Richey discussed WKU’s recent revenue shortfall of $6.5 million, which will need to be balanced by the end of the fiscal year.

Richey said while enrollment at WKU is steadily increasing, a good percentage of those students are in dual credit programs and do not pay tuition. He also cited WKU’s problem with retention — especially with the freshman and sophomore classes — as another reason for the shortfall.

“I anticipate a tuition increase of 3 percent; however, that is all speculation,” Richey said. “If we don’t have the tuition increase, then we have to cut $6.5 million from somewhere.”

There will be no SGA meeting next week due to Spring Break. The next meeting will be March 21 at 5:00 p.m. in Downing Student Union.

Reporter Jamie Williams can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].