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Student Government holds meeting for students to voice opinions

FGCU Student Government gave students an opportunity to voice their opinions on a variety of topics during the inaugural Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17 in the Cohen Center Atrium.

The topics addressed ranged from concealed carry on campus to the start-up of 7:30 a.m. classes. The event, which was the first of its kind, consisted of SG members discussing recent projects, as well as changes happening throughout campus that will affect students.

“I came because of the 7:30 classes,” said Yevonne Ellerbee, a junior resort hospitality major. “I won’t say that I’m against it. I’m just concerned. What is the reasoning behind it? Why it’s being put into effect now?”

Student body president Thieldens Elneus explained that 7:30 a.m. classes could be beneficial to campus, despite the earlier start time.

“7:30 classes increase the utilization of space within the university,” Elneus said. “I see all sides of it. Honestly, it’s something that students have already experienced. I don’t think it’ll make a great impact on the students, but it’s something that they’ll have to get accustomed to.”

Ellerbee appreciated the meeting and believed that it was not only beneficial for interested students and those involved in SG.

“I think they’re great,” Ellerbee said. “You get to hear from SG, and I also get to voice my opinion. You don’t feel pressured; you are able to just talk to one person. It’s easier to relate because they’re students as well.”

Another topic addressed was how students can get involved with SG, the possibility of concealed carry on campus, the changes made to the front entrance of the university, the Alternative Spring Break Program and support for students attending the University of Missouri.

“The main reason (for this event) is to tell students what we’re doing and to hear their input and to make sure that they’re aware of what’s going on around campus,” Elneus said. “If students aren’t expressing how they feel, I can’t effectively be the voice of the students. That’s why we put on this event.”

Faculty Senate shot down the idea of concealed carry this past October; however, the possibility of firearms on campus has not completely disappeared.

Students who attended the event and wanted to voice their opinions on this issue had the ability to write down their viewpoints anonymously. Eight students had something to say about the topic, and each slip of paper that was handed in was in favor of concealed carry. The topic will also be brought up at the Dec. 1 SG Senate meeting.

Alternative Break, a program put on by SG and the Office of Multicultural Leadership and Development, is a weeklong trip that is held each fall and spring semester. AB consists of nearly 25 FGCU students who travel to a location in the U.S. outside of Florida in order to volunteer for those who are less fortunate.

“Students and faculty fly to a location outside of Florida to fight things like hunger and homelessness,” said Emma Green, the SG director of civic engagement. “We teach them about the issues, and they harvest lessons that they can bring back to FGCU. It’s a really good opportunity to get involved and get your hours and learn about other states and what they’re facing.”

The upcoming Alternative Spring Break Trip will take place March 6 through 12 to a destination that has yet to be determined.

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