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March 16, 2017
Nicholls State University students created a petition addressed to the Student Government Association President and Vice President as well as members of the Nicholls administration this week concerning the discontinued $10 yearbook fee.
The petition is just one of the initiatives that has been taken to voice student opinions. The Student Government Association has produced an Ad-hoc committee comprised of SGA and Student Publications members to help resolve the issue. The Nicholls Worth reached out to Nicholls President Bruce Murphy and Vice President and Provost Lynn Gillette, but they did not respond.
According to previous articles written by the Nicholls Worth, students were left without a voice in the matter. Instead of the $10 yearbook fee, the University is repurposing it in two $5 fees funding the Student Success Program and the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Without the funding for the yearbook, it is endangered of ceasing to exist.
Chelsea Jackson, Mass Communication junior from Kenner said she planned on starting a petition and campaign. “That was one of our tactics,” Jackson said. “We were going to be proactive and getting them to realize that a lot of students don’t want this and they are fighting against it. They will have to notice and they will get those emails constantly. We might do another one since that one is getting so much attention. It will say that people care.”
Jackson also wants to work with the administration to let them know that making decisions concerning students, without student input is wrong.
“We want to have an intellectual dialogue with them and we want it to be worthwhile for both sides. They would not be having this issue if they asked students if they wanted a yearbook,” Jackson said. “The issue would not be at hand if they would have asked students for their opinions. You can’t make a decision like this without our input.”
SGA Vice President, Austin Wendt, said he is proud that the students are being proactive in starting this petition. “I am so excited and happy to see students starting a petition,” Wendt said. “This is actually a step forward than we were anticipating. It was actually going to be our plan all along, except it was going to be a survey for students.”
Faculty members like Rya Butterfield, assistant professor of speech, is ready to help students if they want help to make their voices be heard through speech. “I am here for the students if they want to include that in speeches as well as helping to formulate them,” Butterfield said. “Anything they need in terms of creating content, I am always willing to help.”
Wendt also said that he is happy that students are taking action and matters in their own hands. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of the students for jumpstarting on this leadership and being able to really let their voices be heard through this manner of communication,” Wendt said. “I think it is a great way to express their first amendment rights.”
Jackson said she just wants to move forward with the administration and reiterate that this would not be an issue if the administration would have asked students if they wanted a yearbook first. “We just want to move forward with them in the future so they don’t make decisions like that impact our overall quality of student life at Nicholls,” Jackson said.