All posts by The George-Anne Inkwell Edition

A compelling news source at the GSU - Armstrong Campus since 1935.

SGA Holds Clothing Closet to Raise Money for Eagles for Eagles

Javanna Rogers, Staff Writer

As a welcome back to students, Armstrong’s Student Government Association (SGA) held a clothing closet to raise money for Eagle for Eagles on Jan. 16 in front of the Student Union.

According to Georgia Southern’s SGA webpage, “Eagles for Eagles is a Student Government Association student fundraising initiative. The purpose is to raise money to give awards to Georgia Southern students in extreme financial hardship.”

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From left to right: Farren Smith (senior), Spencer DeMink (junior),Beverly Leiteit (junior),Maggie Calandra (sophomore) and Tyler Tyack (senior) helps out with the clothing drive to raise money for “Eagles for Eagles” 

“We take clothing donations from other people, we come back and wash them, we sell them for a dollar and donate it to the “Eagles for Eagles” drive.” Spencer DeMink, junior and Executive Vice President of the SGA for the Armstrong and Liberty campus said.

According to Georgia Southern’s SGA, the initiative works in two steps:

  1.  Members of the Eagles family and community including, but not limited to: student organizations, faculty, staff, individual students and family and friends of Georgia Southern fundraise and donate to Eagles for Eagles.
  2. Students with temporary financial need to apply for a one time maximum award of $1000.

Look out for more future SGA events on the Armstrong campus! 

Men of Vision and Excellence’s New Book Club

Kee’Ara Smith, Staff Writer

The organization Men of Vision and Excellence have created a book club in the hope of making an interactive new outlet for men on campus. This book club was created by GSU Graduate Assistant, Dorenzo Thomas.

The first book the organization plans to read is “The Pact” written by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt and Lisa Frazier. “The Pact” follows the lives of three young black males who make a promise to each other in order to fulfill their collective dream of becoming doctors. 

MOVE was founded by the University of Georgia to help keep these men in school and increase the graduation rate of black men. “I chose this story to give gentlemen a different look on reading and making it in college: that is the ultimate outcome of our Org,” said Thomas. 

An informational meeting will take place on Jan. 22 in the Ogeechee Theatre located upstairs in the Student Union at 6 p.m. 

The MOVE book club plans to kick off there first get together on Feb. 3. For more information please visit the MOVE offices on the second floor of the Memorial College Center.

Op-Ed: FYE- More Damage Than Good?

Kee’Ara Smith, Staff Writer

In the hopes of helping first year students become successful at Georgia Southern, a mandatory course was created called FYE also known as “First Year Experience.”

The course provides outside classroom experiences for students. Within the course, students are asked to go to events on campus and create a “passport” to show proof of their engagement on campus.

Over the years, FYE classes have changed drastically.

According to Dr. Christine Ludowise, Associate Provost in the Student Success & Advising, the switch to primarily faculty instructors is fairly recent, the FYE course was created at different times at the two original institutions.

“On the Statesboro Campus, first- year experience (orientation to the University) has been in place for almost two decades.

It has gone through several revisions during that time. The discussions for the current revision began in July or August of 2018,” said Ludowise.

The class was usually taught by an advisor. However, over time budget- cuts, lack of advisors, professors and low enrollment has caused the class to now be infused with another course the student is already taking. The new curriculum merges the FYE class with an english, history or core-curriculum course.

According to Ludowise, the stipends which previously were paid to those who taught FYE 1220 have been redirected to help fund the faculty and staff equity adjustments.

“Faculty and exempt staff who value teaching FYE 1220 should speak with their chairs and supervisors about how teaching the course could be considered as a meaningful component of their contributions to student success.

As noted by the faculty members on the redesign team, faculty need to have a clear understanding of how teaching FYE 1220 will count in some meaningful way for them,” said Ludowise.

“My FYE class helps with things I should know around campus, like resources.” -Shakerion Ficklin, Freshman

The Provost’s Office has asked the Deans to work with their colleges, departments and faculty to clearly articulate how teaching FYE 1220 and CORE 2000 will count in faculty evaluations and towards their important milestones. These milestones include tenure, promotion, post-tenure, merit-evaluations, etc.

Of the 105 individuals teaching FYE in Fall 2019:

46 are Academic Advisors [44%]

25 are Faculty (6 of 25 are administrative faculty, such as Department Chairs) [24%]

26 are Staff [25%]

8 are Graduate Students [7%]

In Previous Years FY Instructors ratioed:
CY 2013: 133 individuals; 71 faculty [53%], 62 staff [47%]
CY 2014: 139 individuals; 79 faculty [57%], 60 staff [43%]
CY 2015: 137 individuals; 80 faculty [58%], 57 staff [42%]
CY 2016: 133 individuals; 80 faculty [60%], 53 staff [40%]
CY 2017: 119 individuals; 89 faculty [75%], 30 staff [25%]
CY 2018: 131 individuals; 106 faculty [80%], 25 staff [20%]

“Until the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), rules changed in 2016- 2017, academic advisors and other staff members regularly taught the FYE course on the Statesboro Campus. It is my understanding that academic advisors and other staff members also taught the FYE course on the Armstrong Campus, prior to consolidation,” said Ludowise.

During the 2019-2020 school year the Georgia Southern FYE staff decided to include diversity and inclusion talks within the course. Recent events such as the Statesboro campus’ book burning have proved this addition to be unsuccessful.

“I think it did help them to be more involved than they would have been otherwise.” -Dr. Carol Andrews, Former FYE Professor

“My FYE class helps with things I should know around campus, like resources. I learned how to calculate my GPA and look at what classes I need to take in the future. It is pointless in some ways, because all we do is talk about school, which is repetitive because I already know a good bit of stuff pertaining to campus life. I don’t get the hype about the book, because we barely read it; which was a waste of money,” said freshman Shakerion Ficklin.

“I feel like the FYE classes are a nice effort. I understand what the goal is, but the execution is not there. I went to class because I had to. The class had no impact on helping me transition from home to college life,” said junior Kadaja Williams of her FYE experience.

After asking students about FYE classes, the question still remained, “What is the purpose of this course?”

A newly retired Armstrong professor of over 40 years and former FYE professor, Dr. Carol Andrews, also gave her perspective on the program.

“I have never thought it especially useful although I did enjoy the increased interaction with students. I think they considered it a waste of time, especially the class meetings.

The Passport Project was the most positive aspect of the course because it involved students with campus activities and support services. They griped about it, but they produced interesting, often creative, digital portfolios illustrating their experiences.

It was difficult for students who didn’t live on campus to get to some of the activities, but I think it did help them to be more involved than they would have been otherwise,” Andrews said.

“I understand what the goal is, but the execution is not there.” -Kadaja Williams, Junior

It was expressed that there was a drastic change in the curriculum. For this year, instructors resources were built around the following six topics:

Growth Mindset
Information Literacy
Achieving Your Academic Goals

Communication in Our Communities
Diversity and Inclusion
Campus Engagement and Student Success

 
The addition of Diversity and Inclusion raised many red flags. Uncertainty was answered with, “We have provided the tools and the necessary training for our professors to teach about this subject,’’ Georgia Southern University President Dr. Kyle Marrero said.

Marrero later mentioned that this training was not mandatory for professors during an SGA senate meeting.

Recent events within the FYE course has raised many questions but the fact still remains that “several hundred colleges and universities assign a common book to first-year students each year. Many common read programs have existed for 20 to 30 years,” said Ludowise.

“The book choice is made by a committee of faculty and students. Using a committee to choose first- year books may not be the process in the future, but it’s not an uncommon approach,” said Ludowise.

Hopefully these recent events have brought awareness to the administration in how the FYE course will be run in the future.

PSAC Hosts Courageous Conversation About Privilege

Rebecca Munday, Staff Writer

“Courageous Conversations” is sponsored by the President’s Student Advisory Committee (PSAC) on Inclusive Excellence.

The first of these events focused on “Privilege, Respect, and Social Responsibility” was held on Dec. 2 at the Ogeechee Theatre.

This event was hosted by Takeshia Brown, the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), and McKenzie Peterman, Assistant Director of OMA.

About three dozen people, including faculty, students and administrators, attended the event.

At the beginning of the event they handed out sticky notes and asked attendants to write their hopes and fears for the event’s conversation on the sticky note. Then, they asked the attendants to stick their sticky notes to the wall. Next, they read off some of the things that people wrote on the notes.

“The conversation and the process doesn’t end at the end of this event,” Brown said.

Then, they asked the question, “Who am I?” to the audience.

They wanted the audience to consider that question in terms of three other questions: “What communities/identity groups am I a part of?” “How has my perspective been impacted by my identity?” “How has my identity and perspective impacted the ways in which I make connections with others?”

For the third activity, the attendants were split into groups that got $200, $300, $400 and $500 to spend on privileges for sale.

Groups could buy privileges such as “sharing health insurance with your partner(s),” “Not questioning normalcy both sexually and culturally” and “Being able to feel safe in your interactions with police officers.”

The groups decided to pool their money so instead of four groups, they became two groups with $800 and $600 respectively. Finally, the entire room became one big group that got to choose 14 privileges for a $100 each.

Then, Brown and Peterman went over strategies for social responsibility: self-work, mentorship, ally ship and sponsorship, collaboration and communication.

This event will also be held on the Statesboro Campus on Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Russell Union Ballroom.

In February 2020, PSAC will sponsor a town hall/panel discussion on “Social Justice” and in March 2020, the topic will be “Gender and Sexuality.”

Further information on these events will be posted on the Inclusive Excellence landing page, georgiasouthern.edu/ diversityandinclusion.

Courageous Conversations are open to students, faculty and staff.