Photo by: Jeffery Miller

Josie Graham, SGA Vice President Pro-Tempore, reads the La Pirogue resolution during the SGA meeting Monday, March 27.

SGA to administration: Cease plans for yearbook fund reallocation

March 30, 2017

The Student Government Association passed a resolution requesting the University to transfer all funds associated with the voided yearbook to the Student Publications Department in a 14-0 vote during Monday’s meeting.

The resolution said the university fee was created with intent to be used to have a yearbook printed for its students.

It reads, “The yearbooks funds should remain with Student Publications and Student Publications shall deem where and how to spend the funds that were allocated by student fees.”

“At the end of the day, I just feel that it is the right thing to do,” Tommy Thibodeaux, SGA president, said. “We heard from the students and it shows that we are doing what the SGA is here to do. We are accomplishing our job in the appropriate manner.”

Austin Wendt, SGA vice president, explained how he wants the students and the administration to work more closely together.

“What we are working to do is to continue further discussion with the administration about coming up with some resolution and bringing it back to the table,” Wendt said. “We want to work together in a more unified fashion on providing the services that the students wish to continue and overall further collaboration with the administration moving forward.”

A copy of the resolution will be sent to Bruce Murphy, university president, Lynn Gillette, vice president and provost, the faculty senate, the Louisiana Board of Supervisors and the Nicholls Worth.

“It is a step,” Alec Stieffel, SGA senator, said. “It will progress and we are hoping it will shed some light on the situation and make the university take action.”

Students and staff from student publications attended the meeting to hear the discussion on the resolution and to thank the SGA for their support.

“I am filled with joy that the resolution was passed,” Hollyn Millet, La Pirogue editor, said. “I want to thank the SGA and the students here at Nicholls for expressing their feelings and trying to help save the book.”

The resolution was passed in response to the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approving administration’s request to eliminate the $10 assessed fee that funds the La Pirogue Yearbook. The organization has enough money on hand to continue to produce a yearbook for several more years. According to budget documents, the La Pirogue account had a balance of $498,807.87 as of February 22.

The University added two fees listed at $5 each. They are titled “Quality Enhancement Fee” and “Student Success Fee.” These were to replace the $10 yearbook fee.

Students vocalized their disappointment about the University taking the yearbook fee and using it for other purposes in the past weeks. The resolution said using the yearbook funds for any other purpose is “unethical” and should stay within Student Publications.

In addition to the resolution, Nicholls students created a petition on March 13 addressed to the Student Government Association President and Vice President, as well as members of the Nicholls administration concerning the fee.

Trevor Johnson, sophomore mass communication major from Luling said “I think student publications are integral to a university’s success. Nicholls should do its best to fund those efforts, not strip them away. Funding provides better learning opportunities for all students involved.”

In the comments section of the petition, Cari Allum, secondary education sophomore from Meraux, La said “I’m signing because I am a student at Nicholls and old treasures like La Pirogue is what will help me remember my college years when I am old and can’t remember the memories. La Pirogue is something that has been apart of this campus for so long and it would be heartbreaking to see it go away only because of a financial issue.”

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