SGA to give out book scholarships

Jessica Sasseen

Buying textbooks will get a little easier for some students thanks to the Student Government Association.

SGA recently voted to award 20 $100 book scholarships to selected students in the spring of 2003.

The money will be available to full-time students who demonstrate financial need. A short essay and GPA will also be considered.

SGA Congress member Jessica Martin, a sophomore from Hazard, helped author the bill. She said she is excited that SGA will be able to offer financial aid to students.

“Contrary to popular opinion, we’re not a greedy organization,” Martin said. “This administration really wants to do a good job and one way to do that is to help the students that need it the most.”

The scholarships will be funded by $1,000 allotted from SGA’s budget. The WKU Bookstore matched SGA’s allotment by donating an additional $1,000.

Scholarships that utilize the campus bookstore are important, Auxiliary Services director Rob Chrisler said.

“It’s just a visual reminder to the bookstore and the campus that the university bookstore is the students’ bookstore,” Chrisler said. “I thought it was appropriate to give the students’ money back to the students.”

But SGA Congress member John Law, a junior from Adairville, said the money given for the scholarships could have been better invested in recreation equipment which would serve the entire student body.

“I do not believe it is fair to take up a mandatory fee from the students at large and give it all to a person or a few people,” Law said. “It is the purpose of this body to represent the students. I don’t doubt that the person or people applying for it could be needy and could greatly benefit from it, but it’s not the purpose of the student government to give money to individuals.”

SGA gave 10 book scholarships to students last year. The organization doubled that number this year after the bookstore’s donation.

“The student government is more than just a middle man between students and administration,” Martin said. “We’re not going to turn our own back on students. I’d love to be able to apply for this, you know.

“I can use all the help that I can get, and that’s the way a lot of students feel. And even though we’re helping just 20, more students are going to become aware of this.”

Once a student has received a book scholarship from SGA, that student is not eligible again.

Scholarship applications are available in the SGA office on the first floor of the Downing University Center.

Reach Jessica Sasseen at [email protected]