SGA offers new scholarships for marginalized groups

Jamie Williams

The Student Government Association prepared  to make two new scholarships available for students and appointed a new senator during its meeting Tuesday. 

The SGA will be adding applications for the Jonesville Memorial Scholarship and the Students with Disabilities Scholarship to its website within the next few days.

The Jonesville Memorial Scholarship, which was approved by the senate last fall, will be available to first-year African American WKU students from the Warren County Public School system or the Bowling Green School systems. This scholarship will total $850 and is provided by the SGA and the Center for Citizenship and Social Justice.

This scholarship was created to memorialize Jonesville, a historical African American community located near WKU’s campus until the 1960s. In the late ‘60s, WKU bought Jonesville’s land in order to expand, and the residents of the community were displaced with little compensation.

“Obviously no amount of money that we could throw at it will invent a time machine, so we could go back and convince the administration to properly compensate these people,” Senator Dillon McCormick said when the scholarship was approved in November. “But it is, in a way, the kind of symbolic gesture to atone for the wrong that we did.”

The Students with Disabilities Scholarship will be the first ever disability scholarship given out by the SGA. The two scholarships will be worth $500 each and are for students with mental or physical disabilities.

During the application process, students will need to provide their requested accommodation from the Student Accessibility Resource Center or information from their doctor. According to the application, “Disabilities covered under this scholarship are defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.”

During the meeting, Senator Chase Coffey presented a resolution that would allow former senators who resigned in good standing to attend the SGA’s end-of-the-year banquet. While the resolution was unanimously approved, it was later vetoed by the Executive Council. The council believed the resolution to be unconstitutional.

After presenting his resolution, Coffey offered his resignation due to a time conflict with one of his night classes. Coffey said he wanted someone who would be able to be more active in meetings to have his seat.

“I’d like to thank all of you, for getting to serve beside you all through the Fall,” Coffey said during his resignation speech. “To all the new members — I welcome you to SGA, and I hope you enjoy your semester.”

Since Coffey had already informed the Executive Council he would be resigning, a new senator was immediately appointed in his place. Olga Shoyat, a freshman, said she hopes to gain experience through SGA and that her international affairs major will help her in the organization.

“I would like to be more aware of what is going on on-campus,” Shoyat said. “And eventually be able to make some type of impact and some type of change on-campus.”

The next SGA meeting will take place next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Downing Student Union.

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