NEW ORLEANS (February 8, 2019) – The Student Government Association held its annual State of the SGA session Jan. 31 to discuss student complaints about infrastructure, facilities, academics and meal plans.
The list was compiled from social media outreach prior to the meeting. Executive Secretary Arienna Miller took notes on complaints, which she said would be forwarded to the appropriate administrators.
Additionally, President Kennedy Watson discussed changes her cabinet are implementing in the near future and held an open forum with Dillard students.
The goal was to bring awareness of troubling concerns of students to the SGA so they can relay the message to the appropriate administrators; to that student leadership wants to be more transparent; and to let students know student engagement is needed to fully execute initiatives the SGA desires.
Before the address, SGA officials went to social media to ask students what they’d like to see changed and what administrators need to know are issues. Before the topics students submitted were evaluated, Watson said students are more often than not taking their issues to social media, rather than using Bleu Box, an initiative Watson’s administration began early last semester where students can relay problems and Miller directs the issue to the proper channel to get the situation handled.
According to submissions via Twitter, students wanted to understand why The Avenue of the Oaks still was under construction since construction was supposed to be completed last December. The response was that unforeseen complications arose, and to date, no definite completion date was available.
Students said better communication is needed with Facilities, not only about beautification of the campus but maintenance. Complaints were made about bathrooms not being cleaned for longer than a week, lack of supplies in the restrooms, including feminine products.
Miller took notes of all concerns SGA could not handle on their own to forward to the appropriate administration officials. SGA members decided to charge themselves with the feminine product initiative, spearheaded by Leah Erby, SGA parliamentarian, and KeAdria Miller, Miss Dillard. They said they first must identify how many restrooms already or need dispensers and the cost of additional dispensers and supplies.
This conversation led into why certain gates around campus are locked or are being locked ahead of the stated times. Students were told Dillard Police Department is understaffed. Currently, there is no solution to this issue but DUPD is doing everything in their power to keep the campus safe.
Students also complained about the inadequacy of teachers and curriculum. They were advised to take faculty evaluations at the end of each semester more seriously. Students also want more training for teachers to use Canvas and to become accountable about informing students their grades.
Regarding the meal plan, students said most students do not use all their swipes, especially students with apartment-style housing, and they complained about high-carb meals and lack of variation with dining hall food.
Cierra Haynesworth, a junior from Anitoch, Calif., and Miss Junior Essence Thomas of Dallas, both members of the Food Committee, said students would like to see a change should offer suggestions, not just a complaint.