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Student Government Association meets with city council to discuss communication lines

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Posted: April 16, 2008 11:59 p.m.
Updated: May 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Student Government Association meets with city council to discuss communication lines

Gary Lewis

    Georgia Southern students filled the Statesboro City Council chamber Tuesday evening as Student Government Association representatives sought to open up lines of communication with city officials.
    SGA President Jon Simpson and James Hall, Senator of the college of graduate studies, presented three recommendations, with the backing of the SGA Senate, to the council for consideration.
    Primarily, they proposed putting a non-voting member on the city council to be elected by the student body or appointed by the SGA. The student would serve a two-year term and serve as a voice of the student body.
    According to Hall, a student on council would enhance debate because the representative would be up to date on student issues and actively engaged in discussions.
    “It would minimize the misconceptions between what actually happens at council meetings and the impression of what happens at meetings,” said Hall.
    Putting a non-voting student member on the council is “certainly something to look at,” said councilman Will Britt. “We should get the SGA, faculty representatives and the council together” to discuss the possibility and work out details.
    The SGA leaders also suggested scheduling a meeting between GSU students, faculty and staff with Statesboro’s leadership — at least twice a year — in order to discuss issues and share concerns. They also asked for at least one city council meeting per year to be held on campus to allow a “larger audience to participate in the process of local government.”
    Councilman Gary Lewis also spoke of holding council meetings on campus during his election campaign last fall.
    During the meeting, Simpson said SGA was simply trying to start the discussion process.
    “We want to include the city in these ideas,” said Simpson. “Then we’d like to sit down and come up with something we can all agree on.”
    Most councilmen and the mayor responded positively to the SGA presentation.
    “We’ll set something up so we can have further dialogue,” said Mayor Bill Hatcher.
    “I think they have some good ideas,” said Lewis. “The university is good for the city and the city is good for the university.”    
    Look for more city council stories over the weekend.
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