Ethan Smith, News Editor
As most of you know by now, the consolidation process has not exactly been smooth by any means.
Since Armstrong State University became Georgia Southern University on January 1, 2018 there have been issues regarding classes being offered on one campus and not another, issues with commencement and where families will see their children graduate and an issue of inclusion between the three unique campuses of Georgia Southern.
With that said, here is what I believe needs to happen for the upcoming fall semester.
Inclusion Across the Three Campuses
As I stated before, there is no sense of unity across the three campuses(Statesboro, Armstrong and Liberty).
Statesboro by far has more events, more school spirit, more academic outreach, more everything it seems like.
Yes, I understand the Statesboro campus is the main campus while Armstrong and Liberty are satellite campuses, but when you state “Three Campuses. One University”, you need to make it feel that way.
Statesboro also has athletics unlike the other two campuses(Armstrong includes intramurals), but integrating Armstrong and Liberty into those athletics would go a very long way in getting students involved in athletics which is a major part of the college experience.
Also, having more student events on the satellite campuses would get students more amped about being a Georgia Southern Eagle rather than complaining about it like the student body has for the last two semesters.
Inclusion is what the students here in Savannah and Hinesville want. They want to feel like they belong to something and aren’t just an added statistic to a consolidation process. They want to feel wanted and Georgia Southern needs to make it feel that way.
More Class Offerings in Savannah
Many majors here in Savannah were effectively moved to Statesboro following the consolidation despite many believing that they could stay in Savannah through the old core, but with the loss of staff, that belief quickly faded away.
Many students such as myself will eventually have no choice but to make the move to Statesboro before they graduate.
The Armstrong campus has quickly shifted towards a nursing and education school with the new Waters College building entering the fold in the spring semester.
Majors such as engineering, journalism and others for example will be moved to Statesboro, forcing those who are in those majors to change along with the moves being made.
More classes need to be offered in Savannah, period.
Yes, faculty left the university and some more may be following them in the near future, which obviously hinders class offerings.
However the university plans to tackle this issue has nothing to do with me but I hope they fix this issue in the near future to benefit Armstrong campus students.
Dr. Marrero Must Have A Strong Presence
Georgia Southern announced that Dr. Kyle Marrero would become the 14th President of the university about a month ago, making him the first president of the consolidated university.
In an interview with The George-Anne: Inkwell Edition a few weeks ago, Marrero had this to say about making his presence felt in Savannah:
“I want to back-and-forth as much as possible. I am going to be in Savannah as much as I am in Statesboro and Hinesville.”
I hope he truly means that because the students at the Savannah and Hinesville campuses need to see their president and have a belief that he will be readily available when he needs to be.
A big way that Marrero can do this is having an open forum every month on this campus for students to voice their concerns and allow their opinions to be heard from the biggest figure within the university.
Marrero also has the advantage of having a home here in Savannah, so the likelihood that he makes good on his promise is very likely.
These issues among others have solutions that can make the fall semester of 2019 the best since the beginning of the consolidated university. Will the university fix some of them? Only time will tell.