Students offer feedback during SGA meeting

Desteny MaraghReporter

Guest speaker Tracy Tyree, who is Vice President of student affairs, addressed a group of students to ask for their opinions on each of their experiences at the university and its overall quality.

The discussion was held at the Student government body meeting on Friday, Oct. 2 at 1p.m.

“The student voice is very important to this process to make sure that we have stayed true to our mission statement,” said Tyree.

The university is up for reaccreditation, so Tyree was seeking feedback to ensure all student’s needs are being met.

The basis of the meeting was to filter the feedback of likes and dislikes of Southern from the source, the students.

This process of reaccreditation, which happens every ten years, is defined as the official certification that a school or course has met standards set by external regulators.

Accreditation is what allows the university to receive federal financial aid.

Accreditation not only grants financial benefit for Southern, but also shows the success of the university. This displays its ability to keep a diverse and open atmosphere.

Tyree was also joined by two additional guest speakers; Trudy Milburn and Theresa Marchant-Shapiro.

Both women are leading the reaccreditation process.

“Accredited universities receive that verification that students are assured academic quality and make sure students are getting what they signed up for,” said Milburn.

“This is a super big deal for any university to be going up for reaccreditation,” said Tyree. “What makes southern unique and special, the statement we put out reflects a balance of how we see ourselves and how we want others to see us, while still aspirational.”

The statement put out its titled “The Identity and Mission of Southern Connecticut State University.”

In this statement, the university is prided on being a social justice campus, having small classroom sizes and the importance of faculty and student relationships.

The statement reads: “under the leadership of President Bertolino these past four years, the university has continued to emphasize academic excellence, access and service for the public good as ways to advance social justice as its primary focus, emphasizing the values of dignity, respect, kindness, compassion, and civility.”

The meeting was centered around getting students input and having a conversation about what they experience, what areas are good and what areas can be improved. Transfer student Briana Alvelo, a senior, spoke about her experiences compared to her previous school, Quinnipiac University.

“At my other school, I never really felt at home I never had any type of connections with my professors or any faculty or staff,” said Alvelo.

She said she felt as though her voice was not heard and there was not space for her to be successful there.

“When I first came here, I immediately found my place and voice. It’s a very different environment,” said Alvelo.

SGA President Sarah Gossman, a junior, said “students feel their sense of belonging, people are always saying find their confidence and passion.” “The start is here at Southern. Whether they got that inspiration from faculty or a club, they are able to really find a purpose here at Southern.”

The statement that was put out reads “in fulfilling our aspiration of being a social justice university within a comprehensive framework, we continually strive to bridge the gaps faced by all of our students, including students of color, those from low in-come families, and first generation students.”

Tyree said the university’s identity is of high importance as it is essential that students identify with the statement put out and the words resonate with the actions.

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