The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

SGA outlines yearly plans

October 3, 2017

The Student Government Association outlined its “ReNew” plan of campus projects and outreach for the
year at its workshop last Friday.

The goal of SGA’s ReNew plan, which entails everything from academic enhancements to campus
beautification, reads as: “To renew SGA’s commitment to living out our mission and in serving the
student body by insuring voices are heard and action is taken to improve the campus community for all
students.”

SGA President Tommy Thibodeaux said that ReNew stemmed from a desire to make a change for
students using the resources that the organization has.

“We’re not afraid to change things up and try something new, and that’s really where it came from,”
said Thibodeaux. “You know the old expression, ‘do less with more?’ We’re trying to do more with what
[limited funds] we have.”

Campus parking is an area that SGA is certainly hoping to improve, with a bike share program currently
in the works. The organization is also looking to establish a committee comprised of students, faculty,
staff and University Parking Services to look at parking zones. Additionally, SGA hopes to have the
university’s aid in putting signs up that designate parking spots.

SGA’s plans for campus beautification include the completion of Peltier Garden, new seating and tables
in the quad, new fountains, the cleaning of Shaver Gym and the addition of art, commissioned to the Art
Department, throughout campus. SGA also hopes to better the Student Union through updating it to a
more modern appearance and improving meeting spaces and seating.

The organization’s academic enhancement projects consist of the improvement of classroom
environments and Wi-Fi, as well as the creation of a student bill of rights.

In addition, SGA’s public relations team will work to engage the university with the surrounding
community through efforts such as facilitating student interactions with local governments through
partnerships. The team will also keep SGA updated on matters of local and state politics, so that the
organization can advocate for the student body.

Other proposals involve inviting guest speakers to campus and ensuring the protection of freedom of
speech for students while also defining what is considered hate speech.

Thibodeaux said that, while he cannot pinpoint one project that he is more excited about than others,
he is thrilled about the opportunity each one brings.

“I think what I’m most excited for is the…opportunities that we can bring to the students, whether that
be helping beautify the campus or the Wi-Fi motions that we talked about today. They all hold
something special,” said Thibodeaux.

In addition to ReNew, SGA has been acting as a voice for the student body through Thibodeaux’s
representation on the presidential search committee, which held its first meeting and public forum on
Sept. 25 and is set to hold its next at the end of the month. Thibodeaux said that his and the other non-
voting members’ role on the committee is to offer representation for those who experience Nicholls on
a daily basis.

“That [first meeting] was really to get us all on the same page,” Thibodeaux said. “A lot of these people
who are voting members come from the board and are not essentially immersed into Nicholls’ culture
on a daily basis like we are, so a lot of the non-voting members have a lot of say so and a lot of
experience.”

As for what he is hoping to bring to the search committee, Thibodeaux said it is the students’ voice.

“We pay 77 percent of the facilities, so we need to make sure the next president is student-focused,”
Thibodeaux said.

At its meeting on Monday, SGA passed motions to appoint eight new senators, including Graduate
Senators Marcus Fox and Jon Dugas, Senator of Culinary Arts Kyle Dunn, Senator-at- Large of Minorities
Jace Riley, Senator-at- Large of International Students Rojina Gurung and Senators-at- Large Kennette
Rice, Lionel de la Houssaye III and Ethan Adams.

In addition, SGA passed motions to allocate $272.25 toward purchasing a miniature torso model for the
Tutoring Center and to include student media fees as part of summer intersession fees.

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