Students talk campus life at SGA Town Hall Meeting

The Student Government Association at Alcorn State University hosted a Town Hall Meeting Monday, Oct. 23. Students were given a chance to make their voices heard and express their concerns about campus and student life, financial aid, campus police and activities. SGA President, Patrick Herbert and First Vice President, Lamar Scott, moderated the event and gave students the opportunity to ask questions.

Regarding scholarships, students voiced their concerns about the Alcorn Achieve Scholarship and the Valedictorian and Salutatorian scholarship being removed from the university. President Alfred Rankins Jr. responded, “Since we have ACT scholarships, most valedictorians and salutatorians qualify for one of the ACT scholarships. According to data, there are a small number of students that perform below a 22 on the ACT when they are Valedictorian or Salutatorian. When students are awarded scholarships with low ACT scores, they were not persistent in academics while attending Alcorn State University. Since the budget has been decreased by the state, we decided to remove the achieve scholarship.”

Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs, Emanuel Barnes added, “If you’re already on the award, you will continue to receive it as long as you keep a GPA of 3.0.”

Students were also concerned with visible security on campus so that they can feel more protected. Alcorn Police Chief Douglas Stewart responded, “We try to be more visible during our evening hours and our midnight shift. If you see something that seems suspicious, call and report it.”

Senior Tyla Gaddis expressed problems regarding limited parking available for students during classes.

“There are more cars and commuters, so during business hours and in the evening, there isn’t enough parking on campus.”

President Rankins responded, “Every few years, we hire engineers to do a parking study here on campus to see if we have enough parking to accommodate the amount of students and employees. To date, we have not received results saying we do not have enough parking. However, there is not enough parking for you to drive from your dorm to every class. You’re not going to find that on any university campus. University campuses are not designed for you to drive from building to building. The parking lot at the front of campus is funded by MDOT because of safety concerns during big football games that back up on the stretch and 61.”

During the town hall meeting, there were many questions and concerns voiced by students that were answered by faculty and administrators. There were ideas that will be considered by these departments to work to make concerns and problems resolved at Alcorn State University.