SGA discusses search for new University president and police chief

SGA discussed the search for the next president of the University during its meeting Nov. 23.

The presidential candidate visits will take place Dec. 2, 6, and 9 via Zoom, giving students an opportunity to meet the candidates.

President McKenzie Ward said after the finalists are nominated, the school will be hosting a lunch with student leaders Dec. 3, 7, 10 so they can get to know the candidates better and ask them questions.

Ward emphasized the importance of student representation at these meetings because it “establishes the culture of FSU.” 

FSU is one of the few schools that has open forums hosted by students in which they are allowed to ask administrators questions. Ward said, “Making sure that the next potential FSU President is aware of this is essential in keeping that privilege that we have.”

Ward also spoke about the search for the new police chief, with the last open forum held on Nov. 29. 

Ward said she spoke with Interim Chief John Santoro, a finalist for the position of chief, after his open forum. She said she plans to propose having more targeted open forums for specific departments, such as University Police. Santoro agreed and said if he isn’t appointed chief, he will relay this idea to whomever is. 

Student Trustee Hillary Nna addressed plans to increase enrollment after it dropped 10% since the Fall 2019. 

“Some things that came out of the perception study was making the University more accessible to commuter students. There is talk about updating the library building as well as increasing the outreach to high school students, bringing up those enrollment numbers, and trying to increase campus activity and spirit,” Nna said.

She added the University is focusing on “compliance for vaccinated and partially vaccinated students, as well as random testing.”

Nna said, “The testing site is open every Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for random sampling and anybody in the community who wants to get tested. As of right now, we have low numbers, and no evidence of classroom transmissions.”

She said students who want to or are attempting to self-quarantine should visit the University’s FAQ page for resources, according to what the department of public health guidelines are.

Vice President Emma Sullivan discussed the finalized design of the Black Lives Matter banner set to be placed in the McCarthy lobby.

“In February, we’re going to hold the table and have sharpies. Students can come up and sign in support,” Sullivan said.

Ward then presented Outreach and Events Coordinator Emily Rosenberg’s office report due to her absence.

She reported SGA plans to hold at least one more event before the fall semester ends. In the spring semester, they also plan to hold another event for recruiting new members for the SGA team.

“Because we are a smaller group, and we also all are super busy, she thinks that having more members will help us get more done,” said Ward.

During the SGA Advisor’s report, Sara Gallegos said, “We need strong representation” for the open forums. 

She also said the work SGA senators have put in this semester has gone above and beyond. 

Gallegos referred to the SGA team as “small and mighty.” 

This week, the “U-Rock” award was given to Senator Mark Haskell by Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dara Barros.

The “U-Rock” is presented to recognize a senator’s accomplishments during the weeks between meetings.

[Editor’s note: McKenzie Ward is Opinions Editor for The Gatepost. Emily Rosenberg is an Arts & Features Editor for The Gatepost. Mark Haskell is a staff writer for The Gatepost.]