By Marcela Castro Carias
SGA will be hosting town hall meetings again this year, beginning Oct. 16.
“Town hall meetings are an opportunity for students to ask questions to administrators or other key people on campus, and also give administrators the opportunity to give word out of different things that are going on,” said Matthew Spraker, associate dean of students.
The reestablishment of the town hall meetings was a completely “student led initiative” by the SGA board, All Student Body President Marina Yousef and Vice President Stephanie Ordóñez, Spraker said.
“It’s hard for us [students] to get a grasp and understanding of what’s really happening when we don’t have communication to the people up top,” Marina Yousef said.
Yousef hopes the meetings will create transparency and “an opportunity to just ask [administrators] instead of being worried about something. To ask about what’s happening, why it’s happening and what will happen.”
“What I hope to achieve is people feeling like their voice is heard on campus. I hope that they see that their needs are being met and concerns heard,” Yousef said. “I hope people feel the transparency. We are a community that’s open and loving… We’re just here to serve.”
SGA will choose a monthly theme based on what is going on at the time and what people are the most interested, curious or concerned about.
The meetings will be in the lobby of Jernigan Student Center one Wednesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Yousef wanted a place where there is a high flow of people that could see the meetings and stay if they had questions. Students can come and go as they wish but are highly encouraged to stay for the whole event.
“Trevecca hosted these for decades throughout the years, [this year and last year’s] SGA decided to have a monthly meeting where students can keep open channels of communication with administration,” Spraker said.
Dinner will be provided for commuters who stay during the meeting through to campus events.
“We partnered up with Zack Church and he’s creating an event every time there’s a town hall meeting so there’s not only one reason for them to stay. If he cannot make any event at that time, we’re going to cover the cost for commuters to eat at the caf,” Yousef said.
SGA and faculty have come together for the creation of this monthly event and have high hopes concerning results.
“What I hope to achieve is people feeling like their voice is heard in campus, I hope that they see that their needs are being met and concerns heard,” Yousef said. “I hope people feel the transparency. We are a community that’s open and loving… We’re just here to serve.”
Graphic by Naomi Overby