State of the Union: A semester in review

Veronica Manley

The SGA met last Wednesday evening to discuss some of the growing tensions and issues on campus.  One topic continuously brought up is the ongoing concern students have for their safety on and off campus after this most recent presidential election.

Students are concerned for what steps the University is taking towards uniting the student body and providing more spaces, like the Community Conversation, for students to feel safe to speak out and voice their opinions. 

As Inauguration Day approaches, Vice President John Puszcz and other members of the SGA are brainstorming different ideas and options to provide for the students so that all opinions can be present and heard.

In addition to the unease about the election outcome, the SGA spoke about other issues we are still making strides to fix.  President Bobby Roenitz and Puszcz met with Villanova Chief of Police and director of Public Safety David Tedjeske to discuss the semester long issue of parking and the department’s transition to an armed police force. This issue has come up multiple times throughout the year, and the SGA is working as best as it can to make the communication between the students and the Public Safety officers as clear and public as possible. To make the work that they do available to the student body and all who care to know, the SGA senate meeting minutes will now be posted on the SGA website.  The goal of this is to show all students that the SGA is a representation for all students, and we want to hear what changes need to be made.

The SGA will be having its annual Town Hall with Father Peter Wednesday, Dec 7, at 7 p.m.  We are advertising this meeting with the intention of discussing specific topics regarding different advancements on campus.  

The main topics that will be discussed are the construction plans on campus, the arming of Public Safety, addressing the sexual assault protocol and Climate Survey results, and the dining services board of trustees’ thoughts on outside competitors.  We hope that this discussion will be a positive one and that students will come not only addressing concerns, but also discussing possible solutions to the issues.

Finally, SGA would like to take this opportunity to discuss the semester as a whole and recap the progress we have made this far in the school year.  We have discussed the presence of the new Public Safety officers from the beginning of the semester and have continued to keep the student body informed consistently throughout the year.  From parking spots, to armed officers, the SGA has made it its mission to provide transparency with our campus Public Safety. 

SGA has also had meetings with our Title IX Coordinator Ryan Rost to discuss campus social climate with sexual violence. It discussed the results of the Sexual Assault Survey conducted last year are will continue to work with the office of Health Promotions to keep the line of communication open to make sure all students feel safe and have the opportunity to be heard.  

The SGA also participated in the community outside of Villanova.  On Oct. 30, the SGA Senate participated in volunteering in the Radnor Run to support the local communities. 

The SGA also hosted a Fireside Chat with University Provost Maggitti to discuss academics and the future of our school in our educational progress.  Next semester, the SGA will continue to inform the student body on all of its affairs and will keep providing all it can to benefit all students at Villanova.