Committee addresses south campus needs

Clare Lowther

Ma’Tretta Bush was looking for a place where she could voice her opinion.

Bush, a Radcliff junior, said she and other students at South Campus were receiving little representation. She wanted to be a part of an organization where she could make a difference.

“We didn’t have control over anything,” she said.

A year and a half ago, Bush decided to join the Student Advisory Committee at the community college.

The advisory committee is the brainchild of Quentin Hollis, an assistant professor at the community college, and others. They hoped to create something similar to the Student Government Association that would give students at South Campus the chance to participate in what was happening at their school.

“I thought since we didn’t have much representation, this would be our chance,” said Hollis, now one of the group’s advisers. “Some students just felt out of the loop.”

The Student Advisory Board began meeting two and a half years ago.

The Student Advisory Board is currently going through the process of being officially recognized as an organization by the University.

To do this, Bush wrote a constitution and official rules and regulations for the organization and had them approved by Heather Strode, the board’s adviser.

Strode said the board is waiting on final approval from Charley Pride, organization and leadership coordinator for student activities, and Howard Bailey, dean of Student Life.

Every year, the Student Advisory Board receives $3,000 from the University to use on improving the quality of student life and surroundings at South Campus. They’ve helped provide park benches, ashtrays and a big screen television equipped with cable for a lobby of the main building. In the future, they hope to put televisions and clocks in every classroom.

Hollis said he hopes to do more than just improve the physical surroundings, however.

“(Our main goal is) mainly to establish a strong, solid student advisory board that can advocate for changes,” he said. “We have a lot of nontraditional students here and we want them to feel like they are a part of something.”

About 20 students currently participate in the organization. Meetings are at 2 p.m. every Wednesday in the commons area at South Campus.

Strode said she hopes to attract more students in the future.

“It’s open to any community college student,” she said. “We have a lot of different students (participating) … We have nontraditional students, as well as traditional.”

Bush encourages all students to join the organization or at least attend meetings to find out what is going on.

“Students can just come and listen and give their input without joining,” she said. “That’s the best way for us to know what students want.”

Strode emphasized that the Student Advisory Board is not a separate entity from the Student Government Association on Western’s main campus. SGA members have been helpful with the establishment of the Student Advisory Board, Strode said. She said the board hopes to send representatives to SGA meetings in the future.

“I don’t want there to be a separation between us,” she said. “Our goal is to work together.”

Reach Clare Lowther at [email protected]