SGA moves to diversify campus housing

Jamie Williams

The Student Government Association approved a resolution to diversify campus housing more and rejected a bill that would change its GPA requirements during its Tuesday meeting.

The rejected bill would have allowed students to vote to change to the GPA requirement for SGA to a 2.0. Its current GPA requirement is a 2.5. The bill aimed to increase the diversity of the SGA to include students who are in good standing with the university but don’t have as high of a GPA.

“Our organization should be recruiting people on this campus that want to do the most for this organization and more importantly for WKU,” said SGA President Jay Todd Richey.

Senator Lucas Knight agreed SGA should aim to be representative of WKU’s student body.

“If our goal is to be actually representative of the student body, which is one of the hallmarks of this year’s SGA initiatives, then disregarding a portion of our student body from representation on the basis on GPA — even though they are a fine student of the university — contradicts that directly,” Knight said.

Some SGA members disagreed, saying SGA should serve as a role model to other students.

“GPAs don’t show how intelligent somebody is or how good they are in school, it doesn’t reflect that at all,” Senator Kaycee Gibson said. “However, we are representatives; we are voted in; we are expected to be elitist; we are expected to have a certain GPA standard.”

“We don’t need the bottom of the barrel, we’re the cream of the crop,” said Public Relations Chair Alex Sergent.

Gibson also added lowering the GPA requirement could put students with lower GPAs at risk of falling even further behind.

“It’s not the student under a 2.5 would be hindering our organization, not in the least bit,” she said. “However, I believe that we would be hindering that student with the time commitment that we require here.”

In a recent Twitter poll conducted by the SGA, 39 percent of respondents supported the change to a 2.0 GPA minimum, while 61 percent did not.

The SGA also approved a resolution to address the lack of diversity in on-campus housing which will be brought to the attention of WKU Housing and Residence Life.

Under the university’s 10-year housing plan, McLean Hall and Bates Runner Hall would no longer be honors dorms; instead, honors upperclassmen would live in Southwest Hall and international students would live in Northeast Hall. The resolution proposes instead of separating the honors and international students, they would be combined and live through Southwest and Northeast halls.

Andi Dahmer, one author of the resolution, said she believes the integration of both student groups will allow them to have a more enriching and diverse college experience.

“In addition to increasing the diversity that students could experience in their residence halls, this is also really important because it technically gives more housing to both parties,” Dahmer said.

The plan would add approximately 40 beds for honors students as well as more rooms for international students. Additionally, Southwest and Northeast halls already offer extended living for international students, so there would be no added cost of keeping the residence halls open over academic breaks under the proposed plan.

In a Twitter poll conducted by the SGA, approximately 83 percent of respondents supported the merge while 17 percent did not.

Also at the meeting, Richey reported the number of people using SGA safe ride has decreased. The SGA will be looking into possible alternatives such as a WKU taxi service or vouchers for taxis in order to compete with other ride-sharing services.

Senator Jody Dahmer also addressed students who use bicycles as transportation, saying bike racks were being redistributed across campus to high-traffic areas. A bike lane map is also in the works and is set to be released next fall.

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