Dodds talks SGA plans for next semester

Supporters applaud Student Government Association president-elect, Smithland junior Cory Dodds, Friday morning in the SGA office in Downing University Center.

Taylor Harrison

Cory Dodds said he got involved with the Student Government Association in 2010 as the information technology director because of his interest in working with technology.

But since then, he’s done work with the transcript voucher program, had meetings with director of parking services Jennifer Tougas regarding a safe-rides program and  kept up with SGA’s websites.

And last week, Dodds was elected SGA president with 44 percent of the 1,333 student votes cast.

Corey Johnson, an SGA senator, received 35 percent of the vote. Austin Wingate, who had served previously in SGA, got 21 percent.

Dodds said he loves helping people, something he enjoyed while serving as an officer of the National FFA Organization during his freshman year at WKU.

“That’s really why I’m a political science major, because I enjoy studying the different institutions and how they can basically improve the lives of others, and really, that’s what I hope to do as president,” Dodds said.

Current SGA President Billy Stephens said he approves of Dodds as his successor. He said Dodds is the best political mind and the best person to work with other people out of the last three presidents.

“I know Dodds is going to do better and brighter things than I ever dreamed of, so I mean, the campus is in good hands,” Stephens said.

Dodds’ top priority is to implement a safe rides program in the fall.

Dodds also said he plans to improve transparency in SGA by putting judicial records and executive committee meeting minutes online. He would also like to start taking minutes at Organizational Aid meetings.

“Really, in my opinion, there are a number of reforms we could do in the senate to make us more accountable, and one of those is basically committee assignments,” Dodds said.

His new plan for getting senators to stick with their committees is assigning a committee to each senator rather than letting them choose which meeting to attend week to week. Committees include student affairs, academic affairs, Organizational Aid, public relations and campus improvements.

While senators would get to list their preferences, their committees would be assigned to them.

“One thing that I’m interested in exploring is doing a few constitutional changes to where each college has a senator, and only students in that college can vote for their college senator,” Dodds said.

“I mean, all the different majors, we face different problems, and not all those majors are represented in the student senate, and so I think that’s a good way to address many of the different problems that we face.”

Dodds also wants to make it mandatory for graduate and teaching assistants to undergo evaluations.

“…We deserve a certain level of quality and accessibility to our instructors, and I think that’s definitely lacking, so I hope to implement those evaluations for the fall,” Dodds said.

Dodds said he’s very grateful for the help other SGA members gave him during his campaign.

“I couldn’t have done it by myself,” Dodds said.

Travis Taylor, SGA’s director of academic and student affairs, helped Dodds with his campaign. Taylor said that while any of the three candidates would have done well in office, he felt that Dodds was the one doing more than was asked of him.

“You know, he was going to these meetings that he didn’t have to go to, he was organizing these projects that he didn’t have to,” Taylor said. “He was just going above and beyond, and that showed me that he has the work ethic for that job.”