SGA hears from executive staff; Clounch discusses career at FHSU

BY RAEGAN NEUFELD

It was a night of looking ahead and reflection for the Student Government Association at Thursday’s meeting, with senators hearing from executive staff about upcoming events and from Teresa Clounch about her career at FHSU. 

The first executive report was from President Ryan Stanley. Stanley spoke about the work he’d done this week, including being present in freshman seminar classes and at the Kansas Board of Regents meeting with other state university and college student body presidents. He also discussed his meeting with a representative from the business Kansas Appleseed.

“(Kansas Appleseed) is interested in coming to campus to do a hunger initiative, to inform students about what we can do about the food insecurity rate in Ellis County,” Stanley said. “We also progressed the idea to include how students can contact their legislators about the issue.”

According to Stanley, the hunger initiative will hopefully happen sometime this semester.

Another upcoming event for SGA is the safety walk with campus police chief Terry Pierce. SGA Director of Communications Jayden Siebert discussed the details of the event.

“Usually just the executive staff does it, but this year we’re extending it to all senators,” she said. “On Oct. 13 we’re going to walk around campus with the chief of police and check the lights, the call boxes and everything else to make sure they’re OK. If there are things that are broken, we’ll get them fixed within a week.”

In addition to giving her report as community relations director, Emma Day also gave a report on behalf of the General Education Committee. Her report included an update on the changes being made to the general education program. 

According to Day, a six-member committee – composed of three faculty senate members and three General Education Committee members – is working to have a new program drafted by November. The program will consist of 34 credit hours, down from the current 51, and be implemented in Fall 2023. 

Present as the guest speaker, Clounch reflected on her five years as assistant vice president for student affairs, which ended Thursday. Clounch worked specifically in student life, and as a Title IX and senior diversity officer. One of the main focuses of her speech, however, was her time as a campus leader when she was in school.

Teresa Clounch

Clounch will be taking on a new role at Washburn University as associate vice president of student life and dean of students. She will replace Joel Bluml, who left Washburn for a position at the University of Providence in Montana – according to a release from Washburn.

“As you are participating in the business of SGA, as you are involved in organizations of special interests or academic backgrounds, know that all the experience you’re gaining you get to take forward with you,” she said. “That’s what I’ve done while working at Fort Hays State.”

In addition to her student affairs duties, Clounch also worked on various committees, with academic departments and with the community. She also served as an SGA advisor. After making her mark, Clounch said she believes she is leaving with the university “in great hands.”

“When I came here, y’all were doing amazing things, and you will continue to do them” she said.

At the end of Clounch’s speech, Vice President Austin Ruff expressed his gratitude and appreciation on behalf of SGA to Clounch for all she has done for the organization.

The next SGA meeting is at 7 p.m. Sept. 22. The location is yet to be determined.

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