BY CORIE LYNN
With the return of students and staff, FHSU is once again filled with people and activity.
The university’s Student Government Association is wasting no time in reaching out to the campus population and is seeing a growth in involvement.
“We have talked to freshmen seminars about SGA,” Student Body President Mark Faber said, “but also mentioned how valuable it is to get involved in organizations other than SGA as well.”
When considering what the SGA will tackle this semester, engagement is at the top of the list. However, Faber also hopes to add to the Student Emergency Assistance Fund, to bring in speakers to discuss diversity and inclusion and to begin recycling across campus.
There are a couple of projects he personally would like to see accomplished this semester: the addition of the tiger logo on downtown Hays street signs and a campus-wide survey to identify issues across departments.
“The street sign idea is a personal project of mine as I have seen many Division I colleges that have a similar feature around their campuses,” Faber said. “To the visitor, it signifies that you are close to the college, and you quickly begin to feel the school spirit.”
Through the street signs, Faber also hopes to draw closer the connection between FHSU and the Hays community. The campus survey has a similar goal in bringing the various departments closer together.
“With this information, we can work to improve and fix issues that are brought up, and these solutions can come from other departments that are doing well in the same area that another is struggling,” he said.
Though he and the SGA will work on these projects during the semester, student engagement will remain at the forefront as the campus returns from a year and a half of largely online interaction.
As the chair of the Student Advisory Committee for the Kansas Board of Regents, Faber created a task force to address engagement at universities across the state of Kansas.
To him, engagement stems from pride in and belonging to a university.
Because of this, Faber saw the full student section of FHSU’s first football game as a first step in a reengage campus and this semester’s activities impacting future student involvement.
“That is why it is of the utmost importance that we encourage, inform, and support student organizations to organize many unique ways that students can get involved,” he said.
With this in mind, Faber encourages new students to become involved in an organization they are passionate about, where they can apply themselves and where they can invest their time.
“In short, my advice would be to get involved and make the most of the time you have at FHSU by experiencing all that it has to offer and in doing so you will benefit your future as well as the futures of your peers,” he said.
Looking forward, Faber is most excited for having as normal a year as possible and helping the university to what it was prior to COVID-19.
For him, this return has the opportunity to be a time of improvement as the pandemic revealed issues that students experience. He and the rest of the SGA can now begin to search for solutions.
“This semester and year, in my opinion, is of extreme importance because it will set the stage for how well FHSU bounces back from the COVID epidemic,” Faber said.
As the SGA begins its semester of serving its students, it is looking ahead involving students across campus and to meet students’ needs as they arise.
To do so, Faber asks that students come directly to him, Student Body Vice President Ryan Stanely or any student senator.
“Student experience is something that we value,” he says, “and this will prosper only if we have clear communication between the student government and the students.”