University of Louisville Student Government Association
ANNUAL REPORT 2016 - 2017
UofL STUDENT GOVERN
It’s here. Who can believe that we have finally reached the end of the year! It’s been quite the year here at the University of Louisville. From the good to the bad, there has been no shortage of excitement here, and let me say it’s been quite the honor to have been Student Body President over some of the greatest, and some of the most challenging times here at UofL. Since last summer we have seen some pretty amazing things happening around campus. The university has committed to holding tuition flat and introduced a program that would allow students to earn money back to their tuition bill (Credit for Credit). We’ve kicked off the renovation of the Student Activities Center, watched our new Academic Building start to take shape, and we have seen the addition and expansion of many of our vital student support services. SGA has worked hard over the past year in working with the administration to continue to improving everything from dining, safety, and parking, to academic policies to making sure our campus is living up to its commitments of diversity and inclusivity. It’s not a surprise that this year has been a little tougher than most for the University. Changes in governance, related issues of accreditation, and serious financial questions have been at the forefront of everything that I have been working on this past year. As the year draws to a close, I think it can be said that we have made it through the worst and soon the University will be completely back on course. And with that, I have no doubt that our trajectory will see us continue to get better and better.
That’s not to say that there is still not a lot of work left to do. From a Presidential search, a Provost search, down to all of the Dean searches, a lot of work is still left to be done in finding the next leaders on our campus. While I think that we have had a successful year, I do recognize that there were some things we were not able to accomplish in the time we had. I am hopeful that the incoming administration will continue to advocate for a student seat on the foundation board, retiring more unnecessary student fees, and further streamlining student government. As I have said a lot this past year, the best part of this University has not been affected by all of the challenges and changes up top. The best part goes to class every day, heads into work, finds time to do research, meets weekly with all of their organizations, and sometimes still finds some time to relax while doing it all. The students here are undoubtedly the best part and their passion and tenacity far exceeds any issue and problem. That should never be forgotten. Throughout this report you will see that the SGA Administration (Top 4) and Student Senate have been hard at work for the student body. I am immensely proud of the work that all of our student leaders have put in this year. Thank you to everyone who trusted me with this privilege. It’s been a great year, and an honor to have been your Student Body President. I am excited to see all of the great things that Vishnu and the next SGA will accomplish in this coming year. Go Cards!
2016-2017 Student Government Association Chief of Staff: Jacob Abrahamson Director of Governmental Affairs: Ronica Hutchison Director of External Affairs: Jesse Bailey Director of Institutional Research: Nicole Fielder Directors of Communications: Jud Adams & Kylyn Schnelle Assistant to the President: Jonas Bastien Assistant to the Executive Vice President: Matthew Reddell Assistant to the Academic Vice President: Raymond Myers IV Assistant to the Services Vice President: Emily Robbins Senate Speaker: Tyler Poteet Senate Historian: Landon Lauder Senate Parliamentarian: Benjamin Coffman Senate Clerk: Dustin Cox
UofL STUDENT GOVERN
SGA PRESIDENT •••• The primary responsibility of the Student Government Association President is to be the student representative to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. This year, that responsibility has meant voicing student concerns to three different UofL Presidents and Boards of Trustees. The SGA commitment to student success has never wavered, even when things at UofL seemed bleak. Aaron also had the opportunity to witness firsthand the vibrant campus community students have created at UofL by attending student-led events throughout the year. In every accomplishment this year, Aaron has served as an advocate to students first, with the guiding principle that this is Your Voice,Your Message, and Your SGA.
SGA President Aaron Vance greets new students at Welcome Week.
Whether it be for a new budget model or a student on the UofL Foundation Board, the theme of this year has been advocating change.
As part of the ACC and the Ky. Board of Student Body Presidents, SGA has been exposed to new ideas to put into action at UofL.
Each student pays a $12 fee so SGA can function, so SGA made sure this year that each student saw a return on their investment in us.
The Cards in Action program led dozens of students to Frankfort to meet with legislators and participate in a rally for higher education.
One of his first acts as a Trustee was to freeze tuition for the 2017-2018 year, so students won’t have to continually pay more for an
In addition to never shying away from making public statements on big issues, SGA consistently let students know what it was doing.
UofL STUDENT GOVERN
EXECUTIVE VP ••••• The Executive Vice President plays a myriad of roles in the day-to-day management of the Student Government Association. Most importantly, the EVP is in charge of the Student Senate and organizing all meetings, retreat, and banquet. This year saw a flurry of activity in the Student Senate, in part prompted by Amanda’s leadership and encouragement. On top of these roles, the EVP has is also a leader in SGA Diversity initiatives and the lead representative in student athletics and tickets. Both of these are important to students, and have required careful planning and dedication. Amanda served on over 13 committees this year.
Executive VP Amanda Nitzken with Senate Speaker Tyler Poteet and Senate Clerk Dustin Cox at the 2017 Senate Banquet.
••••••••••••• campus climate.
Campus conversations on important issues have been a key part of improving campus climate, with the help of the Vice Provost for Diversity.
SGA was a supporter of UofL’s first annual Unity Week, and we were one collaborator on several events to promote unity on campus.
With so much success on the field, SGA has been able to provide students with post-season tickets to UofL’s sports games.
With the help of the Student Involvement office and External Affairs director, we have increased support for new student organizations.
Amanda was active in reaching out to diverse groups on campus to encourage participation in the SGA General Election.
Each year we use feedback to make student ticket packages better. Next year, students can appeal their ticket package if they are offcampus for academic reasons.
UofL STUDENT GOVERN
ACADEMIC VP••••• The Academic Vice President plays an important role each year in representing the academic needs of each student at the University of Louisville. Normally, this has focused on enhancing the library services for students. This year’s SGA made great strides and built great relationships regarding library services, but we were able to touch so many more academic areas, including general education requirements, course evaluations, study abroad, and career services. Meredith served on over 15 committees this year.
Academic VP Meredith Cooksey and the rest of Top 4 at the Rally for Higher Education in Frankfort.
••••••••••••• cardinal core.
The revised proposal updates the general education curriculum to focus on active learning and diversity within all classrooms.
student of the month.
This year saw higher application numbers from all majors and undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs
The new program will focus on helping 2nd year students “find their fit” at UofL.
Meredith worked to improve response rate and implement questions on diversity and inclusion
10 pm - 2 am library hours The new library hours have allowed more students to study late into the night!
new academic building.
Meredith made sure student needs are in mind with the new academic building is key.
UofL STUDENT GOVERN
SERVICES VP •••••• The Services Vice President is the voice of University of Louisville students in all matters regarding campus services. This year, the SVP had her work cut out for her thanks to the many exciting changes happening on campus every day. Whether it is designing and planning the new Student Activities Center or welcoming new dining options to campus, the student voice was included and valued throughout the year. Lauren served on over 20 committees this year invloving parking, housing, dining, and any other area of importance to students at UofL.
Services VP Lauren Greenwell and President Aaron Vance sign a beam for the ongoing Student Activities Center Renovation.
With construction all over campus, SGA advocated to ensure as many spots as possible for students on campus.
it’s on us.
Every aspect of the renovated Student Activities Center was reviewed by students.
In cooperation with PEACC and the Greek Life Office, SGA introduced a new campaign on campus culture regarding sexual assault.
With 10 new food concepts, students are now more satisfied than ever with dining, and their thoughts were given directly to service providers.
To ensure quality housing options for students, Lauren has been a part of bringing UPointe and CardTowne under UofL management.
Safety is a concern for all students, and this SGA initiative, the Rave Guardian app, provides multiple tools for student safety.
UofL STUDENT GOVERN
STUDENT SENATE ••• Made up of representatives from every part of UofL, the Student Senate is the legislative branch of the Student Government Association. Twice each month, the group pooled their unique experiences and constituent concerns in an effort to best represent UofL as a whole. Each resolution or amendment passed by the Student Senate was done with purpose. Some are based on the story of a student, like Joe Nelson, who inspired Kent School President Keith Auspland to introduce an ADA Compliance resolution. Some are tied to a student need, or a new innovation students think should be adopted. Others are an important statement of students standing in solidarity over an important campus issue. Check out the next page for a list of resolutions this year’s Student Senate passed.
On the roof of the Brown Hotel for the 2016 Senate Retreat
••••••••••••• 15 Passed Pieces of Legislation:
- A Resolution to Establish Deadlines for SGA 2017-2018 Budget Requests - A Resolution Related to the Appointment of Trustees by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees - A Resolution Providing the Establishment of a Student Body Representative on the University of Louisville Foundation Board of Directors - An Act Providing for the Establishment of the 2017-2018 SGA Operating Budget - A Resolution Thanking Dr. Neville Pinto for his Service to the University of Louisville - A Resolution for the Preservation of Student Government Association Democratic Electoral Integrity at the University of Louisville - A Resolution to Express Solidarity with International Students at the University of Louisville - A Resolution Providing the Evaluation of Professor and Course Practices of Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Louisville - A Resolution to Bring Belknap Campus into ADA Compliance with Braille (Joe Nelson Braille Bill) - A Resolution Providing the Addition of Lactation Rooms to Serve and Promote Well Being of Individuals With Families at the University of Louisville - A Resolution Providing the Addition of Gender-Neutral Restrooms to Serve and Promote Diversity at the University of Louisville - A Resolution Issuing the Generation of a Comprehensive Online Directory (Balanced Student Life Resources Act) - An Act Establishing the University of Louisville Student Government Association and University of Louisville Student Body Recommendations and Guidelines for the Official University of Louisville President Search - An Amendment Protecting the Student Government Association from Conflicting Interest Between Branches of the University of Louisville Student Government Association - An Act to Reform the Student Organizations Advisory Board
UofL STUDENT GOVERN
SUPREME COURT ••• The Student Government Association could not exist without a successful SGA Election season each spring semester. To ensure that, we turn to the Court and other hardworking individuals who work for the University. For the 2017 General Election, SGA turned to a new system designed to make elections more inclusive and increase turnout. While the new system was not perfect, it laid the groundwork for a successful model of SGA elections. The new system allows each student to complete their unique ballot in a matter of minutes. This year’s election was our most succesful ever, with a historic number of candidates and voters participating to create a succesful, representative Student Government.
The SGA Supreme Court after the 2017 Election Hearings
students voted for candidates in a pool of 7 presidential candidates. This broke the SGA record by a wide margin.
students voted in the runoff election, required if one candidate does not earn 40%. This was more than some past general elections.
Chief Justice: Sarah Pennington Associate Justice (Arts & Sciences): Macey Mayes Associate Justice (Medicine): Taylor Forns Associate Justice (Speed School): Winston Furtado Associate Justice (Law School): Marianna Michaels Associate Justice (College of Business): Natasha Mundkur Compliance Officer: Christian Bush
which brought their constitutions into compliance, allowing them to represent their colleges fairly and transparently.
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A report of the accomplishments of the 2016-17 Student Government Association