Soon, a new SGA will take the reigns over our student body.
Jacqueline Keck, our outgoing president, and the rest of 2017’s student government has done a great job improving the transparency and outreach of SGA and fighting for different initiatives.
However, no one president can achieve everything.
Alarming issues remain present at Auburn, and we believe our new SGA needs to concern themselves with addressing diversity at the University, along with the dining and the dorms system.
Foremost is diversity. Though a public school in a state that’s population is 26 percent black, only 6.6 percent of Auburn’s population is black, and only 3.2 percent is Hispanic.
Auburn’s student body should reflect Alabama.
More diversity not only brings opportunities to students regardless of their background but also brings more perspectives to campus.
It’s important students spend their college years interacting with people who don’t look like them, who may not think like them, and who bring different experiences with them to campus.
Auburn is not absent organizations that make students from different backgrounds feel welcome.
The Black Student Union works to represent the interests of black students at Auburn, and the Latino Student Association serves Auburn by educating the campus about the values of Latino heritage. The Muslim Students’ Association and Auburn Hillel provide a space for those of minority faiths and shares their traditions with Auburn’s.
SGA needs to push Auburn University to increase diversity by reaching out to minority communities and initiating scholarships based on diversity. These are effective ways to change the landscape of the Auburn student body.
Dining at Auburn also needs reform.
SGA should push to have more options available to those with dietary restrictions. Our campus could benefit from having healthier and vegetarian options available. They should be conscious of those who follow halal or kosher diets.
The dining dollars system also bears revisiting.
For freshman living on campus, $995 is rarely enough to last throughout a semester without eating Chick-Fil-A for every meal. That’s not to say that students should pay more — in fact, quite the opposite. There should be more inexpensive options available.
And for those living off campus, paying a mandatory $300 for on-campus food you’re not reliant on can come to be a burdensome cost.
Reforms are needed to make dining dollars a more efficient system, and that should be a focus of SGA.
Lastly, the dilapidated shape of Auburn’s dorms needs to be addressed. Conditions living in newer dorms such as the Village or in South Donahue can be less than ideal, with bug infestations and mold growth being reported, but the older dorms are even worse. The Hill needs major renovations and it wouldn’t hurt to touch up The Quad, either.
All that aside, there is not enough on-campus housing for those who may want to live in dorms.
SGA should spend the year focusing on improving on-campus living conditions. They should reach out to maintenance to find ways to provide safer and more comfortable dorms — we definitely pay enough for them.
We congratulate and wish good luck to the new SGA officials taking office this week. We also call on them to spend 2018 addressing issues of diversity, dining, and dorms on Auburn’s campus.
Changes in these areas will strengthen the campus community.