There is no better way to understand and represent a group of people than by listening. In order to listen, one must first have a conversation. In SGA this year, there has been a continued emphasis on collaboration both internally and externally. We have seen a great importance in having simple, one-on-one conversations with others in order to obtain feedback and act on that feedback so we can better establish ourselves as approachable and accessible resources for the JMU community. While President Alger ventured onto his listening tour across the nation, the SGA also commenced a listening tour of their own on campus – collecting feedback from students, administrators, faculty, and even other universities.
In order to reach out to students, SGA continued our open engagement effort. This year’s model, JMUspeak, was a three-day long engagement on the Commons. Different questions were posed each day for students to give feedback. A student could speak with a member of SGA to express an idea or concern, or they could simply write a comment on a nearby free speech whiteboard. Questions were purposefully broad so that students were not limited in their ideas and responses. One question in particular asked students, “Where do you see JMU in 10 years?” This question holds substantial weight in the university’s planning process. As JMU looks forward at its future, we must first determine who we want to become in order to help guide ourselves in a meaningful and prosperous direction. These responses can be directly taken to administrators at the Madison Future and University Planning Team meetings where students are represented. In our roles, we will continue to ensure the right people are hearing about any feedback we receive. Together, we can create the best JMU we can be.
— Matt Klein, Student Body President
Tweet @matthew_klein for questions.