Eastern Michigan University’s Student Body President, Desmond Miller, gave a speech on Tuesday in the Student Center to address many initiatives, including family restrooms and renovations to facilities, that the SGA wishes to see come to fruition during the fall semester.
Miller began by praising the Student Senate for their hard work and dedication and then proceeded to detail the priorities that SGA has in store for EMU.
Miller said that one goal for the semester is to give the students at EMU a voice,. He said the voice of the student body should be, “heard, valued and respected,” and that SGA works primarily for the students.
Miller also emphasized that all students have the chance to become involved in any student organization that suits them.
“There’s one perfect student organization for everyone because there are so many,” he said.
Miller also said that a Student Organization Participation Survey would be circulated to students and is intended to match students with their interests, almost like a personality profile. The match is also based on a student’s area of study.
Miller talked about the Gateway Scholarship that provides for undocumented students and underprivileged students. The recipients of this scholarship receive help by lessening the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition costs. Recipients would have to maintain a 2.5 GPA and meet with a success coach from the Holman Success Center. The plan is to meet with members of the community and Board of Trustees to collect funding for the fall 2014 scholarships.
Developing a relationship between EMU and Ypsilanti is also a priority for the semester. Miller said that this will help everyone stay connected and know what is happening in the surrounding areas.
Improvements to my.emich.edu, such as implementing an advising tab, will allow students to communicate live with an advisor and also grant easier access within the site.
Miller also talked about the implementation of family restrooms across campus.
“The restrooms are not just an LGBT issue, but a disabilities and student parent’s issue,” Miller said.
He said that it was unacceptable that students have to travel across campus to find these restrooms and that at least one family restroom should be in every building.
He also said that renovations to outdated buildings across EMU, such as the REC/IM, Snow Health Center and others, would need to take place in order to benefit students properly.
“Something has to be done and must be done to help students,” he said.
EMU student and secondary education major, Jamil Khalid, spoke about the large population of Muslim students and prayer times, and also having SGA focus on religious priorities to help the student body. He asked Miller about the possibility of prayer rooms.
Upon learning of the one “reflection room” based in McKenny Hall, Khalid said that there should be something done to implement more accessible rooms for all students of any religion across campus, instead of having students walk such a far distance from their classrooms.
Daniel Proctor, double majoring in commuter information systems and communications, attended the meeting to represent the student athletes.
“I think of athletics as a way that everybody in the student body can relate and come together,” he said. “Even if our sports teams aren’t winning, it’s still a great opportunity for everyone to come together and show their support for the school.”
Proctor said that if the SGA and the student athletes could get on the same page, there’s a lot of room for opportunity and a connection for the students.