Students, SGA members provide Big Red Backpack feedback


Sean McInnis

Student body President Cole Bornfeld addresses the WKU Student Government Association senate during a meeting in Bowling Green, Ky. on Aug. 30, 2022.

Bailey Reed, SGA reporter

WKU’s Student Government Association met on Tuesday, Sept. 14 and students were able to provide feedback on the university’s Big Red Backpack Program.

Prior to the initial SGA meeting, Jennifer Tougas, assistant vice president for business services in the division of strategy, operations and finance, came in to ask students in SGA what they thought about the Big Red Backpack program. 

One question that was raised regarded the opt-out option of the program. When asked why the program is opt-out by default, rather than opt-in, Tougas explained the more programs they cut out of the picture, the more expensive the program is. However, she did acknowledge that schools who use the opt-in method have better success.

“The schools that use the opt-in approach are far more successful than the schools that do the opposite,” Tougas said. Despite this, WKU chose to use the opt-out method in order to keep the cost as low as possible.

Tougas also made it clear on the next go-around, they would try to have more concrete information provided to students so that communication would become clearer.

“The communications piece is something we identified we need to work on,” Tougas said.

Another concern with the program was students finding that books they needed for their courses were missing from their Big Red Backpack orders. Tougas said that changes made to required material by professors may not have been processed in the system, and students may not have known they needed to make an action regarding that change.

Tougas said she hopes by listening to student feedback from SGA, the Big Red Backpack program will only get better and assist more students next year. 

Before the meeting was called to order, WKU President Timothy Caboni made a guest appearance. He commended SGA for its work in creating the Big Red Backpack program. 

Once the meeting was called to order, Preston Romanov, SGA director of public relations, shared that this week is campaign week for those running in the fall elections. Those running should be sure to send posters and content to @wkusga on Instagram. Elections will be held on Sept. 19-20 on TopNet. 

SGA reporter Bailey Reed can be reached at [email protected].