We Still Run This
SGA Campus Reform Campaign Continues
By Auburn Mann
Back in the fall, Bowie State University experienced the birth of an exciting and contagious movement that took the campus by storm. The "We Run This" campaign centered on many issues that negatively impacted the student body, such as inadequate and/or faulty technology, student services, Thompson Hospitality, facilities and university initiatives, as well as other problems that have troubled or hindered the student's matriculation through school.
The campaign was initiated by the Student Government Association, (SGA), who after years of countless complaints decided to take action. Some of the key players behind this movement for campus improvement were SGA President Kirk Pressley, SGA Vice President Nayonna Wright, Mr. Bowie State Bryant Stewart and Commuter Student Association President Jenay Carpenter, Chief of Staff Leslie Hall, Executive Treasurer Jamin Gallmin, Executive Event Planner Avery Pearsall and Aaron Bingea.
The campaign was finally set into motion the week of Oct. 26, highlighted by an Oct. 28 midday rally that got the attention of the entire campus. Bright and colorful posters with the themed slogans such as "Taking back our Campus," "Improvement ASAP," and of course, "We Run This" were plastered all over campus. Students chanted demands for improvements in student services and several SGA addressed the concerns in speeches. The following day tables were set outside of many of Bowie's main buildings in order to get students to sign petitions pushing for reforms. By the conclusion of the fall semester, some improvements were made, such as extended dinner hours at the dining hall.
This semester, Pressley said student representatives are currently working with the campus meal services Thompson Hospitality, which has Bowie under a four-to-eight week cycle, where various entrées are tested by the students for that amount of time. This entails that about twice a semester a survey is administered to the students and other customers on their opinions on the food being served, the meals that are responded well to will be continued and the ones that don't will be replaced . Sophomore Quinten Hall said, "I think the SGA has done a great job, with addressing those issues brought up in the campaign, and specifically I'm happy with the improvement in the cafeteria food."
SGA officials have also met with Director of Staff Development Skills Debra Godsey, who is raising the level of receptiveness to the students among many services around campus.
The SGA is also focused on creating a more efficient University Library because there have also been many complaints about what students say are unaccommodating hours. Currently, the main level closes at 11 p.m. on weeknights and 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends. The SGA also intends to build up stricter security around the library, as well as aim for improved research resources and computer access. "Under normal circumstances these difficulties could have been dealt with sooner, alongside those belonging to Thompson Hospitality," Pressley said. However, due to the recent resignation of Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Roosevelt Newson and Dr. Richard Bradberry, the dean of the Library and Media Operations, and the transition of new leadership, this process is being delayed, but will be completed, Pressley said.
The SGA also plans to work with administration on issues concerning admission requirements, adjustments in tuition fees, and the possibility of a implementing a dress code, and something many commuter students will appreciate - a larger student parking area.
Later this month the SGA is also planning to assist in the Haiti relief effort, with "Help us Help Haiti Week" starting Feb. 8. Even though the campaign for "We Run This" originally began months ago, it will still take a little while longer in order to completely accomplish all the goals on its agenda, Pressley said.