President Kyle and SGA president hold 'State of the Student Body Address'


Radford University SGA President Colby Bender

Radford University students and administrators engaged in an open and meaningful discussion Nov. 4 during the "State of the Student Body Address."

Sponsored by RU's Student Government Association, the forum featured speakers President Penelope W. Kyle and SGA President Colby Bender in an intimate conversation with students. They reciprocated ideas, suggestions, reactions and initiatives, all relating to the betterment of the university.

"Nothing is more important than you, the students," President Kyle said to the audience of more than 180 students inside Preston Hall's Bondurant Auditorium. "You are No. 1 in our thoughts, and you are our No. 1 priority."

President Kyle encouraged students to share their thoughts with their student representatives, who can relay their feedback to administrators and the Board of Visitors.

"Having that communication is critical, and we want to keep that flowing," she said. "If you feel like you are not finding a way to have your voice heard, please talk with us."


Students gather on stage with President Penelope W. Kyle (blue suit), Dean of Students Irvin Clark (back row, far left) and Vice President for Student Affairs Mark Shanley (back row, second from left) after the "State of the Student Body Address."

Kyle provided updates on current construction projects, such as the highly-anticipated Student Recreation and Wellness Center, which is nearing completion. She shared the many accolades the university has recently received and remarked on the student body's demographics, noting that "this is the most diverse student population we have ever had," Kyle said.

Representative of RU's growing geographic diversity, Bender, a Chambersburg, Pa. native, shared updates from the SGA on campus safety. He highlighted the group's recent Campus Safety Walk in which university and City of Radford representatives collaborated to address on- and off-campus safety concerns and improvements, such as additional lighting and signage.


Radford University SGA President Colby Bender (from left), President Penelope W. Kyle and Dean of Students Irvin Clark at the "State of the Student Body Address" on Nov. 4.

Bender also highlighted the ongoing "Consent" sexual assault awareness campaign and RU's partnership with TurboVote and Virginia 21, which resulted in the registration of 325 new student voters this semester.

"It is a great year to be a student leader," Bender said.

Noting the SGA's 100th anniversary achievement on campus, Bender also urged students to "leave your mark on the university."

"I challenge you, no matter what you do, to be a person of integrity," Bender said. "Stand for something, because if you don't, you will fall for anything. We are all Highlanders. We are here to care for each other."

Following remarks, Kyle and Bender fielded questions from students in a Q&A-formatted conversation. Topics touched upon included school spirit, the university's retention and rebranding efforts, campus safety, dining hall hours, campus parking, residence hall arrangements and athletics activities.  

President Kyle and Bender both stressed that such conversations are vital to the university's success and will continue.

Nov 5, 2014