Students at Georgia Southern University can watch local government up close and in action as the Statesboro City Council will hold one of its regular meetings on campus.
At the last council meeting, members decided that the April 20 meeting would be on campus. Councilman Will Britt said getting more involvement from Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff was important to the mayor and all members of council.
"They're part of the community. It's a further extension of the current administration's attitude of including Georgia Southern in things and making sure they don't feel like they're separate," Britt said. "If we can't get them to come to us then we'll go to them and show them we'll take the first step."
The council has been working with GSU Dean of Students Georj Lewis to schedule the meeting on campus. Though not finalized, it is likely the meeting would be held in one of the larger auditorium-style classrooms in the Nessmith-Lane Continuing Education building.
Councilman Travis Chance said he, Britt and Councilman Gary Lewis committed to bringing a council meeting to campus during their election and reelection campaigns. He said it was something he felt strongly about when he ran for office and he still feels strongly about it now.
"Georgia Southern is such an important part of Statesboro," Chance said. "We just want to show them and let them know that it is a very Georgia Southern friendly environment at city hall. We just wanted to make them a part of the process."
Mayor Joe Brannen said the meeting on campus will run just like a regular council meeting but that he and the other council members would be available before and after the meeting to talk with students and answer questions. He echoed the other council members' feeling about the importance of Georgia Southern.
"I think we all know there wouldn't be a City of Statesboro if it weren't for GSU," Brannen said. "So we wanted to go out there, make contact with the students and listen. If the students have a concern, we'll do what we can to work on those concerns to help make the relationship stronger."
If the campus meeting is well-received by Georgia Southern students and faculty, Chance and Britt both said they hope the council would schedule at least one meeting per semester on campus.